Scouts Workshop

In preparation for Scouts, we applied the knowledge and experience we had gained from our previous 4D2PS workshops.  We decided to set up four stations for the children to be involved in, taking into account the potential Scout group size. We specifically tailored them to the children, making sure they were more interactive, enjoyable and educational. We really enjoyed the opportunity to engage with them and their enthusiasm.

Station 1 – Colouring-in of microscopic images of snake skin.

The children seemed to enjoy the chance of being able to use different media whilst working out the contents of the image. They could draw on their own past experiences to better understand what the microscopic photo could be and how it could be altered in different ways, for example, how snake skin could be seen as crocodile skin. Known in scientific terms as ‘Discovery Learning’, a theory that suggests that the act of discovery is brought upon by combining past experiences and knowledge. Looking back, this workshop was a successful alternative to the other busy stations, on which the children were so intent on using. In the end, the finished images were able to tesselate and form our own enlarged snake, shown by our zine front cover.

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Station 2 – Hand held microscope connected to a projector.

There was a lot of excitement around playing with the microscopes. The most interest lay in looking at their skin (fingers, hands, faces), clothing and hair. (See zine blog post for more information)

Making a Zine

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Station 3 – A more powerful microscope and fruit leather.

The children were intrigued by the process and outcome of the fruit leather, as it was something they had never seen before. The fact that it was made out of dehydrated kiwi fruit meant that the internal structure of the kiwi was on show allowing the children to reflect on what they had already seen using the other microscopes. This workshop was only aimed at the older children (the Scouts) due to its potential to tear.

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Ultimately we believe our workshop has been a success as the children expressed enjoyment over the activities we set up for them. Our workshop was later posted on the Scouts Facebook page and other Scout leaders have been in contact with us to ask about the different activities for their own Scouts evenings.

This demonstrated how even though we put on different workshops within the group, based on our research and idiosyncratic talents, reflecting back it showcased how this first collaboration of using a microscope outside the Art college context was the best. Use the link below to see our first workshop together:

Microscope images… Taking it one step further

Our intention is now to document these workshops in the form of a published zine. We would like to keep the integrity of the experience the children had as original as possible.

Fruit Leather Workshop

Having used Fruit Leather in the past, there has been a realisation that this material is widely unknown. Through the process of dehydration the internal flesh of kiwis, with added honey, solidifies into a thin malleable layer after staying in the oven for around 5 hours at 60-70°C.

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From this, we made individual cells and began to make our own skin. The translucent structure becomes reminiscent of the microscopic images that we have previously taken. The previously unknown intrinsic characteristics of the kiwi can now be easily viewed.

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The main workshop with the Scouts provided a hands-on experience. Alongside using the microscope, we were able to provide a platform for the kids to reflect on what they had seen and discovered using the Fruit Leather. As a group, we wanted to try out different ways of working, by using different materials. Through these workshops, between 4D2PS and the Cubs, Beavers and Scouts, we were able to take our intention to collaborate even further, producing work with others who do not always engage with art, or even microscopes.

Cyantoype Workshop

For my workshop I wanted to teach everyone how to make photograms (a process in which the image is created without a camera) using the light sensitive chemical process of Cyanotype. Cyanotype is a photographic process in which any type of material is coated in a mixture consisting of toxic compounds (Potassium Ferricyannide and Ammonium Iron Cirtrate). These chemicals are light sensitive and turn cyan-coloured (blue) after being exposed to ultraviolet light from either a UV light-box or sunlight.

Though originally I was planning to hold this workshop outside with the other members of 4D2PS, unfortunately the poor weather conditions meant that I ended up taking objects from my group and printing them in the Camberwell Photography Darkroom, using the specially designed light-box. Here is what happened:

These images show coated canvas and paper. The solution is always green in colour before being exposed.

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The objects are positioned on the dried, coated paper and then placed in a light-box.

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An example of an exposed image. The coated canvas, as you can see below, has turned a darker colour after being exposed.

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These are washed and exposed final images – hanging to dry.

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Scans of final images of string, plastic, and knitting needles.

Marbling Textures

In this workshop we attempted to illustrate a range of natural textures for example wood, plants, and rocks that were photographed around Kew Gardens. The main objective for this workshop was to see how the natural chemical reactions of the marbling  ink would react with the manipulation of the artist. This was to further understand how to convey art and science; the workshop focused on an area of texture in each given photo whilst relinquishing control of the medium. In turn, this created a body of work that became sporadic and unpredictable to imitate the characteristics of the textures.

The main inspiration for this workshop derived from the teachings of Wabi Sabi, you can find out more here!!

http://www.utne.com/mind-and-body/wabi-sabi

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This is a development of the microscope workshop 4D2PS hosted. As shown in the images below, I have layered up the different patterns and compositions produced by this process, using both Marbling and Indian ink. The tiers of canvas have been used to reflect and engage with the features of snake skin, first discovered at the beginning of this project.

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These were the images that were given out to members of 4D2PS to begin the workshop.