You can be serious and play

You may have noticed that I have put a link to my newly created TED account on the page – although this does not provide my blog with content I thought it was a great addition to my exploration of Art, Creativity and the Power of Play.  TED, if you haven’t heard of them, are a nonprofit organisation devoted to the spreading of ideas.  On their site you can view many wonderful and interesting talks by a wide range of different people.

If you have time I would encourage you to watch the above talk by Tim Brown titled “Tales of creativity and play”.  It is very interesting to see how play is such a valued part of the design process at IDEO the company of which he is CEO.

I love the imagery of ‘thinking with your hands’ that he uses to describe play.  I think it would be great for all teachers to watch this talk.  So many times in school we are focussed on the paper work without allowing students to explore their ideas in a 3D way.

I also love that he really acknowledges that play is an important tool for the design and creation process – it is not frivolous but an integral part of the work.

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When was the last time you really played?

As adults we take life (and ourselves) very seriously.  Taking time to really ‘play’ may be seen as frivolous but the power of play to enhance our learning is an important driving force.  

Last year I took a unit called VAR11 – Introduction to Drawing.  One of the most interesting aspects of this unit was the encouragement to play.  We did not draw with just pencils, charcoal, pens or other normal drawing instruments but were encouraged to explore a range of different objects for mark-making.  Now, aside from the fact that I ‘had’ to do this for an assignment, this activity was an immense amount of fun!  I really enjoyed playing with the range of objects I chose  and as I played and experimented I found myself coming up with new ideas and wanting to try more things.  I think a big part of it was the permission to fail – to try things out and not worry if they were right or wrong but to just enjoy the process.

So here is an image created in that unit using a doyley to make the marks.

 

 Image

Some Are Blue?

So what does the title mean?  Many years ago I remember drawing flowers at school and being reprimanded by the teacher for drawing blue flowers.  This was a strong memory for me as I knew I had seen blue flowers and that the teacher was wrong.  There are hydrangeas, bluebells, cornflowers and irises to name a few.  Anyway this incident has always made me very conscious about stifling a child’s creativity when making comments about their art work.

In this blog I hope to document my own journey through the rest of my Fine Arts and Visual Culture degree as well as my experiences with teaching Art to students from K – Year 6.  I have always believed that play is important for children but am rediscovering the importance of play as an adult through this degree.