Thursday, 6 January 2011

With an "Eye for Art"

Today I was back at 'work' with a new group. They are a group for the partially sighted who have an interest in art meeting once a month in this fantastic venue in MK.

I was going along to deliver a printing workshop, but thought I would open the session with some Notan. This was a good idea!

We choose suitable colours of card and paper to work with depending on the eye condition they suffered from and set to work.....

The process of Notan is the Japanese theory of light and dark or positive and negative space.

With simple cuts we produced some very intricate designs and the students enjoyed playing around with design and balancing the pictures they produced.

I had warned them that the trickiest part of the process was finding all the bits you have cut and sticking them down in the right place! P. did a good job here of her very fine design.

They were hooked and found the process very effective.

Some of the cutting did not lend itself to Notan, so we improvised on the idea and explored the expanded square as well - the heart design shows this very well.

None of the students had tried paper cutting before and most of them took to the principle very well, some had a real flare for flowing shapes and balance of design.

The group had a couple of volunteers helping with the group (thank you, much appreciated) and one of them took part in the activity and had fun with dragons and lizards!

A couple members in the group commented on how simple the process was, but the results were really amazing. I think and hope it suited their eye conditions and everyone went home with something of merit.

We then moved onto the aim of the day which was printing, not everyone wanted to have a go, they were happy to carry on with their Notan!

Anyway, there were a couple of techniques I showed and we had a go at engraving into my favourite pizza bases......

I have been asked to go back to the group later in the spring, perhaps we should do a whole workshop on printing, or maybe I will come up with something else completely.

A great morning was had, lovely to meet such an enthusiastic group of people.


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