Last week I had the privilege of working with a real, bona-fide artist - Brian Sayers. A select group of sixth form students and staff were treated to 3 days of expert tuition centred around our interpretations of one of the largest collections of still life bits and bobs I have ever come across. Centred in the room it resembled the barricade from Les Mis. There were musical instruments, skulls, old frames, ribbons & scarves, dried corn stalks & husks ,chairs, cardboard boxes, artists mannequins, bottles, glasses, tea cups, maps etc. I think the prop department had been well and truly raided. Initially we were encouraged to draw anything from the artfully arranged pile. Then, through careful guidance, we were directed to cut, chop, and paste our drawings into altered assemblages and add paint, inks and pastels. This was way out of my comfort zone. I was at first very reluctant to cut anything but, having seen the gusto with which my fellow 'artists' attacked the task, I felt inspired to give it a go. They were busily and happily working to A1 size whilst mine eventually came out to A4! This is my final piece;
A lot of other stuff happened to get to this stage - I initially went for the tea cups and did a variety of studies from different viewpoints, this led on to studies of wine bottles and glasses as a direct contrast, which led me on to a representation of the sights and sounds of a smoky jazz café. Which all led eventually to the piece as pictured. In my mind it was supposed to represent the journey we all take from birth to death (from one box to another) - but that it should be taken with as much fun and enjoyment as possible along the way!
I thoroughly enjoyed having the time, space and freedom to explore lots of different ideas - something that rarely happens during the school day. Brian proved a very knowledgeable and humorous practitioner and I'll certainly be taking some ideas and concepts back into the classroom. Time, methinks, to start amassing an eclectic collection of pieces ready for when I move into my new art room in a few weeks(?) time.