Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Explore the Japanese side of life...

Hello you lovely lot...

I stumbled across the following and I know we've already blogged this back in December 2012 (wow where's the time flown?) but I really wanted to blog it again as I just love the work that these children at Mount Stewart School in Harrow have done and wanted you all to see it again, especially those of our new readers (thanks for reading and HI). 

The School used some discontinued stock that we had given them which included pens and Japanese papers. They used this to help them create the following designs.

I wanted to know more about this project, so I rang Joy Rickman, the Art and Design Instructor at Mount Stewart School and asked her some questions. 

I soon found out that this was a new idea of theirs and that any past projects were either historical periods or themes concerned with nature. Each project can take up to three months of research and work before it is finished.

They chose the Japanese theme for many reasons:
1. They wanted the project to reflect their artistic nature and to be created by a mix of various collage techniques, drawings and mixed media colouring. Joy said "the contrasts of the Japanese landscape would be very interesting in both a geographical and artistic format".
2. Japan is one of those amazing countries that unfortunately many people do not get to visit. Joy wanted the children to understand the countries traditions and the technology that they bring to market which we use on a daily basis.
3. The Japanese landscape is very different to ours and the engineering skills used to build such superb trains and bridges needed to be recognised during the project.

Joy started her research at the local library and looked on the internet for Japanese contacts. The good people at The Japan Information and Cultural Centre provided them with many photographs, posters, flags and postcards.

The Japan Society put Joy in contact with a volunteer who was a big help in identifying the most important topics that would be included in the project. 

The children were given various images to copy and they had to research their subject and write about it.  Other children in the Art Club were responsible for the collages of the cherry trees and Mount Fuji.  When the drawings were finished they were photocopied to scale and then the work began to assemble the montage.

Joy says "I am indebted the Ria Qazi who spent many days (and nights) working with me, to Gerald Craig, professional artist, who drew the bridge and helped us with design ideas and to Kuretake who provided us with pens which the children used to colour their work.  The children's drawings were displayed around the montage"

The culmination of this project resulted in a visit by four volunteers from the Japan Society being invited into Mount Stewart School to give a presentation about Japan.  The volunteers then went into the classrooms and taught the children how to make Samurai helmets and to write their names in Japanese Characters.

The Japanese project took three months to complete.  It would not have been possible without the extraordinary talent, patience and enthusiasm of the children and I am very proud that their hard work is to be displayed.

I learnt that Japan has lots of specialities in theatres, electronics, cars and landmarks. I also learnt that you have to take time when you are doing art. I enjoyed seeing all of the parts being put together to make the big masterpiece.

It was amazing to be involved in the Japanese Project.  As well as doing Art I also learnt new things about many aspects of Japan.  I learnt most about the Nature of Japan.  The whole group I was working with enjoyed it so much.
Together our part of the project was making a collage Cherry Blossom Tree.  We used tissue paper for the blossoms and we also used wooded textured paper for the branches and trunk.  Not only was I involved in this, I also was involved by drawing a tree and it had twisty branches.  It was hard to draw at first but I got there and enjoyed it in the end.
I really enjoyed the whole project.  When the whole project was complete it looked spectacular!  I, as well as the whole group, wanted to give Mrs Rickman a big Thank You for helping us with this project.

I did the Temple which is the largest wooden building in the world. It was an amazing experience and the angles were hard to draw but they turned out great! The pens I used were a pleasure to work with. The project was great fun.

I enjoyed doing the Japanese Sumo wrestlers, it was hard though.  I tried several times until they were perfect!  The project inspired me in making me want to go to Japan.  The project was exciting and fun!

I enjoyed looking at nature, which is why I chose a crane.  I learnt to use different strokes on my pencil and I hope I do some more things like this in the future.


 The project was fantastic and I enjoyed doing the Shrine and Fan!  Though I found the picture inside the fan difficult as the lines had to be equal.  It was a fun experience and it made me think more about Japan and its people.
Well done to these amazing children who not only researched their topic of choice but put their heart and soul in to creating some fantastic designs.