Making Space:Sensing Place

In October 2009, along with artist Thurle Wright, I was awarded a Making Space:Sensing Place Fellowship; part of the HAT: Here and There International Exchange Programme, managed by A Fine Line:Cultural Practice. The Fellowship includes residencies with Britto Arts in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with Arts Reverie in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, with The V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London and with The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire. Working and collaborating with artists and craftspeople from the UK, Bangladesh and India, responding to the collections and spaces we encounter and sharing these experiences through a touring exhibition and educational workshops.

This blog, which is still developing and being added to, is a record of my experiences during the MS:SP Fellowship. Steven Follen.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Day 3 @ the School

Again, working with different groups of children, the workshops followed a similar format; rickshaw components and block printed paper and fabric.
In the morning the rickshaw components workshop followed the theme of the river and the sea, Tarun showed his beautiful film about the Buriganga - the river which flows through Dhaka, highlighting its historical and spiritual significance as well as the need to protect and maintain the health of this important life-line for the city and its inhabitants. The film was exhibited as part of Britto Arts 'Square Mile' Project in Old Dhaka in December 2009.
Tapan showed how he painted, building up images using several layers of painting.
The children painted their designs on primed metal foil using acrylics, the format of the images was similar to the large panels seen at the back of the cycle rickshaws.

Lokesh showed another group how to block print designs and the children made cards and envelopes using coloured papers.
One of the children added his own creative dimension to the project producing some wonderful printed crowns.
In the afternoon the children looked at images of rickshaws and their floral designs, particularly on the hoods.
Using foil cake cups, the children cut the edges and then painted designs on each one to produce a panel of rickshaw flowers.
Tarun explained how Tapan painted his beautiful flowers for the rickshaws.


Lokesh and the children printed more designs onto fabric with the idea of making a large quilt of each of the squares from the different workshops each day.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Day 2 @ Redlands School

Working with different groups of children the workshops followed a similar format today, rickshaw components and block printed paper and fabric.
In the morning the rickshaw components workshop followed the theme of boats, some children drew images about their memories of visits to Bangladesh, others made up images. The children painted their designs on primed metal foil using acrylics, the format of the images was similar to the large panels seen at the back of the cycle rickshaws.


In the afternoon a second group of children worked on self portraits, sometimes in quite unreal colours.
The levels of focus and concentration was great to see.
Some included decorative boarders and produced some great results.
The groups rotated so that children were able to experience both printing and painting processes.
Lokesh showed examples of his work and explained how they were printed.
The older children had a greater sense of format and composition and once they had worked through the initial excitment of inking up a block and randomly stamping, produced some wonderful patterns especially when they included coloured papers.
Again we showed the children images of the Block printers in Newmarket, Dhaka.