April 02, 2015
At last weekend's free family programming at ArtStarts on Saturdays in Vancouver and ArtStarts at River Market in New Westminster, young art enthusiasts collaborated with photographer Kyra Kelpin to explore self-portraiture through the medium of collage and photography.
Drawing inspiration from the Cubism movement, Kyra introduced her audience to photo collage works such as David Hockney's Pearblossom Highway (1986) and his portraits. Kyra also shared examples of collages completed with Kindergarten to Grade 6 students at Squamish Montessori School, which were featured in the Dwellings exhibition at the ArtStarts Gallery. Here is a short video about that artist residency project:
Kyra explained to workshop participants that being in the pre-digital age, Hockney's works were often made by using Polaroid prints and later, 35mm commercially processed prints.
Next, it was time for children to participate in a collaborative photographic session with the artist, who spent a few minutes with each child capturing a series of digital photo portraits, focusing on their emotive facial expressions. Through the photographic lens, she engaged participants in a self-reflexive exploration of identity and expressionism.
Digital portraits were then printed and ready to use in personal collage works. Young artists also selected imagery from magazines — they cut up, ripped and then reassembled them with their own photo prints to construct creative self-portraits. While cutting, tearing, and layering photographs, magazine imagery, colour and shapes young collage artists pieced together unique, one of a kind portraits!
Kyra further encouraged children to reflect on their own uniqueness and identify personal elements on their assembled creations. For instance, one participant chose to incorporate her love of fashion elements — a large hat!
Another preferred to focus on photographic repetition and layering...
A third young artist utilized an assortment of geometric shapes, colour and inversion techniques to create her photo collage.
Each collage made for a truly visually dynamic representation of self. The limitless possibilities and assortment of angles, colours and shape combinations allowed for an unique reflection into to the complexities of personal identity, prompting young participants to think about the many layers, emotions and creativity that collide to make up their own identities.
March 28, 2015 also marked ArtStarts' 19th birthday! We celebrated with cake and families signed a giant birthday card.
Thanks to Kyra for collaborating with young artists though a vibrant photographic workshop and helping us express ourselves in a truly unique way!
We look forward to seeing you at our next events...
Ideal for ages 5 to 12, Storytelling Improvisation with Carmel Amit and Theatrical Wonderland will be a fun workshop that combines theatre sports, movement techniques and traditional acting methods to connect each participant to their body and voice. Workshops take place at ArtStarts on Saturdays in Vancouver on Saturday, April 25, 2015 and at ArtStarts at River Market in New Westminster on Sunday, April 26, 2015.
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