The day away for artists

Workshop in Dublin by Hungarians
The day away for artists workshop was organized by Practise/Kids Own in Ark on the 10th of Juny 2013. The aim of this project was to provide an opportunity for artists who work with children and young people to socialize, connect, talk, play and get inspiration from one another. This event was part of the Practice European Artists Network project which brought together 8 artists from Ireland, Estonia and Hungary. Rita Farkas and Hajnal Miklos represented Hungary. They are currently based in Budapest and work for the Ludwig Museum-Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest. As usual workshops like this try to encourage teachers to think ‘outside the box’, ‘out far’, ‘off the wall’. You could ask that question to yourself if you are actually capable of doing this or you are ‘only’ an average person? …and by the way what does that mean being ‘average’? …and If I am, is that ok? An interesting discussion topic to start, not just for children. In the morning session at 11.30 am, about 30 ladies plus one man started to gather data about an average person. Is it a he or she? Blonde or brown? Does he like stripes or spots? How old could he be? What could be the size of his shoe? Does he prefer dogs over cats? What about Justin Bieber? Uncertainty among us. Then we figured it out. Slowly we put the sequences together and the character was born. Our protagonist the average person is 40 years old. Woman. Wears size 6 shoes. Rather sporty. Cycles to work. Likes dogs… and please no Justin Bieber! I agree on that. Our task hasn’t finished just yet at this point. We also had to draw her in 20 minutes, do a performance on her every day life in 20 minutes, in fact to find her in Temple Bar in 20 minutes. I can’t get over it how many people think of themselves as special and extraordinary these days here in Dublin. Anyway by 12am we all know everything about her so it was high time to have a sip of coffee after this brain storm. The task was great fun. We learned how to make art based on statistical data under time pressure. As it was an online workshop, at the start we were a bit skeptical but then everything went really well. Thanks for Jane Remm and Hando Tamm for the great topic choice and the positive feedback. We look forward to coming again and to refreshing our memory with you! Hajnal Miklos’s workshop ‘ How to be …a storyteller; an animator; painter; an artist!’ Was a slightly different approach of stimulating creativity to the above mentioned. No data, plenty of freedom, free choice on equipment. Possibly too much freedom?! We all sit still in silence shaping a circle . It’s 2pm already. Darkness around us. After Hajnal introduced herself she started off with a short animation. Little robot has just arrived to planet Earth to entertain ourselves. The robot who was actually Hajnal herself portraying moments of her life. Birth, love, school, so on. Simple story but nice because the way it was delivered, it caught our attention straight away. Every thumbnail sketch was a little masterpiece and the robot was flying, moving around the screen. Love at first sight. I was just thinking to myself I hope you will teach me how to do this in photoshop! …and so she did. …surprisingly within 5mins, I got motivated and with the rest of the people we couldn’t wait to put our hands on the scissors, paints to start designing our comic. The animation is an ultimate way of expression. It doesn’t involve such a skill, only some imagination. Great stories could be told by simple stick man as well. Why not. It is mine. I quickly cut out a mouse, a cat, a table and a bunch of flowers in order to showcase how the cat turns over the table during his hunt. I started by creating the scene on the table with every shot I moved the objects to give the impression they are moving, then my animation was done. Waw… It is really cool! Wild smile on my face. That is what we need in the classroom. An innovative task that will save a lot of hassle and free us from disciplining children. So the message of the workshop could be that: lets mix up the traditional techniques with the innovations of the modern world, and then just sit back and enjoy. Thank you Hajnal for the workshop. Pure comic strips have been neglected for so long! … and Orla Kenny, thanks for organizing this multicultural events, it was beneficial for all of us, no doubt! The article was written so as to encourage Hungarian art teachers living in Dublin attending these workshops. Besides being fun, it is also a help to get to know and understand the Irish educational system better. For those who want to work in this field or become a teacher here in the future, it might be a great opportunity to build good relationships. B. F.