Friday, May 19, 2017

Technology Outdoors. Week 3 : Wild Writing.

I was a little unsure how this week would work with my teaching and my adult students as well as my own art practice. Having completed it, I was inspired by the 3rd unit. This unit started off with looking at British artist Richard Long's work Two straight twelve mile walks on Dartmoor England. Then, the unit's activity is to encourage learners to observe and notice detail outdoors and record it by speaking or writing. It was encouraged to set a rule or parameter to guide their walking and observation.

In order to teach something like this, you need to try it, as I have with the previous weeks. Whilst I do like to write, I was inspired by one of the organisers to take photos on my walk. My rule was to note, using my phone's camera, where my dog stopped on our short mid-morning walk. Here's the result :


I like this response to it "... the poem made me feel like I can read your dogs thoughts".

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If you are looking for my art, you will find it here: www.suepownallartist.co.uk 


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Technology Outdoors: Week 2 Art in the Environment

This was a very interesting week which saw me experimenting with some of the ideas during my early morning dog walks.

Unit 2 was Exploring Art Vocabulary and this is something I can see my adult learners engaging with, maybe as homework prior to a drawing class. The learners have a problem with shades and tones, so I chose white as a means to focus on that rather than distracting colours... Of course there is not just one white in nature, as Dulux reminds us everytime we go to a home improvement store. I used my phone to snap elements as we walked, liking the signs of spring, such as downy feathers on the grass, but also the mix of nature and human influence on the landscape. Once home, I made a collage of the images to give a visual description of the walk, but also showing the white variations.
Below is an image that didn't make the collage, but I do like the effect caused by all the dandelion clocks.
Also, I have been collecting images using other colours, like these purple flowers in the churchyard, as I found this exercise inspiring, so hopefully my learners would too.
 
Unit 4 was I am the Pencil and posed the thought:
We often pick up tools and use them to make marks on surfaces - but what if we ourselves were the tool and surface was the ground?

The idea was to use a route app on a phone or tablet that "allows the learner to draw shapes and patterns using themselves as drawing tool. It leaves no mark on the environment and exists only in the device in which it is made and can be shared from." I downloaded Map My Walk and took a short experimental walk to see how far you need to deviate to create a new line - a pace or two sideways was my conclusion after drawing the letter "S".
Next morning, on another dogwalk, I mapped our short early morning walk, and with guidance, used a hybrid map to show the route (below).

I haven't had the chance to explore this fully, as the next stage would be to manipulate the app pausing its recording to create different patterns rather than a continuous line. I liked the concept of this art only existing on a device, especially the way it's been used in the collaborative project Flock Together by artists Debbie Locke and Sara Dudman, and may be able to incorporate something like this in my own practice.

Altogether a very interesting week.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Technology Outdoors: Week 1 Creating Trails

This week I started a DLaB Erasmus course called Technology Outdoors. It is aimed primarily at school teachers, but as my role as an adult art tutor is expanding, I thought I may pick up some useful ideas.  The project aims are grander than mine.
The Digital Learning Across Boundaries (DLAB) project addresses the need to align European educational practice with ways in which digital technology is changing how and what we learn, and how we apply this in education.
The purpose of this project is to promote digital learning across the boundaries of physical spaces, across curriculum subjects and across languages and cultures, to facilitate collaborative learning across national boundaries.
There are five parts to week 1 of which Hacking Nature really grabbed my attention and saw me dashing outside with my phone to experiement with some of the suggestions. Luckily for me there was a stunning sunset, which looked like this:
©Sue Pownall
but then I took this:
Bent sky ©Sue Pownall
and this:

Mountains in a flat field ©Sue Pownall
I have recently been working on devising a community project and could see these panaramas working as a stepping stone to cross generational work or, as the unit suggested, a large panarama could be made from all the collected ones. Something to think about.

Now on to the rest of the week's units.