Art Workshop

00/00/
Part of the summer activities at Khirki, the Art Workshop was facilitated for over a month...
Art
Venue: 
KHOJ Studios & Khirki Village Park, New Delhi
Date: 
Friday, 14 May 2010
Participants: 
Asmita Rangari ...

Part of the summer activities at Khirki, the Art Workshop was facilitated for over a month, from mid-May to mid June 2010, where young children, mostly in the age group of 8-13, got a free hand at expressing their creativity and imagination by drawing anything they wished and having riotous fun with colors. They gathered everyday, for about three hours during late afternoons or evenings, initially at the KHOJ Studios, and later at the Khirki Village Park, as more and more children, as young as three-four year olds wanted to join in the fun. With freedom, discovery and imagination as keystones of this project, the workshop attempted to NOT teach the regular ‘how-to-do’s’ – how to draw, how to colour- but rather just simply ‘how-to-be’. How to be free in our thoughts and ideas, explore subjects of our heart’s desire, discover, imagine and engage in pure joy and fun without being coerced by restrictive notions of winning, better performance, competition or fear of failure.

It aimed at reinforcing:

• the notion of freedom – free to make art/ draw whatever one desired or fancied, to utilize this freedom to choose subjects as one wished

• flights of imagination – to colour ‘outside-the-lines’ and dwell comfortably and thrive ‘outside-the-box’

• the joy of discovery - seeing new details/ meaning in immediate surroundings, seemingly familiar spaces and places in the neighbourhood Humour, laughter in generous doses and having fun all along while being creative was integral to the project to which the young children responded spontaneously and made the project a memorable one for all.

The art workshop was part of the summer activities at Khirki where young children, mostly in the age group of 8-13, discussed and identified activities they wanted to participate in, over the summer holidays. Drawing, along with drama, dance and games was high on their list. Through this workshop facilitated for over a month, from mid-May to mid June, children got a free hand at expressing their creativity and imagination by drawing anything they wished, enjoying and having riotous fun with colors. They gathered every day, for about three hours during late afternoons or evenings, initially at the KHOJ Studios, and later at the Khirki Village park, as more and more children expressed interest to join in. Their choice of subjects was vast and varied. Sitting around a tiled plinth surrounding an unused water-fountain in the park, the children drew houses and homes, gardens, mountains and streams, fishes, frogs and birds, buildings and traffic, and people engaged in various games and activities. And while suggestions were offered to better their respective works-in-progress, the idea was to keep those to a minimum and offer children an open hand, to be guided by their own imagination so as to colour as much ‘outside the lines’ as they preferred rather than follow any rules of drawing.

Besides this, one of the broader objectives was to encourage the children to observe their immediate surroundings - the neighbourhood of Khirki, and attempt its visual representation, either drawing from broader ‘mental maps’ or by direct observation through site visits. This was used as a tool to generate interest, educate and appreciate, discuss and dialogue about the various facets of the neighbourhood including its rich history while gently prodding and nudging them to think of several issues that emerged. This was achieved through dovetailing into the open format workshop, simple drawing exercises on topics such as, ‘The way to my home’ (mere ghar ka rasta), neighbourhood walks that traced drawings done in the studio and site-specific art sessions conducted at historic landmarks within the neighbourhood such as the monument of Khirki Mosque and Satpula. These created opportunities to share interesting personal stories, conversations, anecdotes and narratives recalling memories and time spent around various parts and  blocks of the neighbourhood, thereby fostering an individual as well as a collective sense of belonging while strengthening their inter-relationship with the place. Humour, laughter in generous doses and having fun all along while being creative was integral to the project to which the young children responded spontaneously and made the project a memorable one for all.