May 2, 2019

Following on from our Discovering Arts Award blog our Project Coordinator Becky shares the ways in which the youth group ‘Chill Club’ explored and achieved their award through 20 hours of arts participation, learning and reflection. In this post she focuses on researching artists or craftspeople – focusing on pro-sociality – and how the group shared their arts discoveries in a creative and reflective logbook.

Researching artists and arts practice

For this section of the Discover award, I compiled a list of YouTube videos, selecting artists and practices which the young people had show a keen interest in. These forms spanned areas of animation, collage, photography and embroidery, each work portraying a pro-social message that the young people were able to engage with, discuss and dismantle.

The young people were given an outline of a body and were asked to mark their emotional triggers from watching the videos, using colours and shapes mapped to where they felt it in their bodies. We then discussed the artist and their practice and explored the reasons behind why they had preferences to some forms more than others. Having the space to reflect visually and creatively was a really useful tool for the young people to be able to then discuss the deeper issues within the artworks and how it resonated with them.

I was concerned that this task might feel aligned to a homework task, however, having a selection of videos to choose from and a pre-set collection of questions to think about as they watched helped to make the task clear, achievable and enjoyable.

You can download our resource here

Sharing art discoveries

Sharing their notes, artworks and thoughts was a little daunting for some of the group. There was some concern about showing someone else their work and some embarrassment around saying out loud what they had enjoyed and were proud of. In the end lots of the young people spoke to a friend on a one-to-one basis and then made some notes in their book about the conversation. I had hoped for the group to be able to share all at once, comparing what they had enjoyed the most and why. However, because some of the young people attended sporadically they all finished at different points and this didn’t work out.

On reflection, I think that this section could have been more active. Lots of the group love dancing and will happily learn routines together performing around the community centre. They had a local musician visit a few times, and some of them did interview him for Part B or for their Explore Arts Award. It might have been a fun way to share what they had learnt about the musician and why they enjoyed his music as part of a dance performance- something for next time perhaps! For some of the group Discover was enough…for others it was not! There were a
couple of dedicated young people who were really captivated by the Arts Award framework. When they found out there was another award they could work towards they were adamant that they were going to keep adding to their sketchbooks till they got there! And so watch this space for how we did it – Exploring Kindness!

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