When the P7 children of P6/7 were offered the opportunity to not only visit Jupiter Artland but create our own art installations too, we jumped at the chance. With the generous backing and support of Scott Wilkins from Southside Community Centre, we didn’t want to return to school after such a creative and interactive day.
When we arrived at Jupiter Artland we were warmly greeted by Helena Barrett (Education Officer) and Lauren Gault (international and resident artist). After a quick introduction and description on what we would be doing, we were swiftly taken off to walk over some of the iconic landmarks that make Jupiter Artland what it is. This was seen as a journey of discovery; an open-ended journey into unlocking our creative potential.
After browsing many art installations, we were treated to a presentation from Lauren Gault on her own spectacular work, Lipstick-NASA. We were encouraged to touch and feel the installations which made us feel very important. Lauren spoke about the image of a ‘stranded’ beached whale as a way to further interrogate extreme ‘material’ experiences. This was described as a big philosophical word called qualia – an attempt to define the nonchemical essence or experience of objects/materials. For example, define the chemical components of water without being able to describe what ‘wetness’ is. Lauren spoke of her travels and experiences and referenced that she used spermaceti, a sought after material harvested from the head of a Sperm Whale. Spermaceti is a material that has been carried across countless iterations and uses – lipstick to space telescopes.
Afterwards, we were given an opportunity to create our own installations. We were encouraged to touch and feel an array of multilayered sensory assemblages so that we could build a bank of words. Once we had built up a mental image, we were given free range with our creativity. We were able to use a host of material and resources to construct our masterpieces including pastel paper, chalk, clay, cling film, rice, glitter, wood and anything else that was safe for us to use. I think you’ll agree we did an awesome job!
We would like to thank Scott, Helena and Lauren for their time, encouragement and for providing us with such a fantastic opportunity.