Creative CREATIVES

Today we used our creativity and imaginations to explore paintings in new and unusual ways. We tried out some new resources, discussing our ideas in small groups . We discussed questions like….

 

>Find a piece of art that feels happy. Enjoy it for a while.

>Look at a painting that you think is boring. Analyse why you think it’s boring and try to make it interesting.

>Find an artwork that needs a soundtrack. Choose a song to listen to while you look at it.

>Find a painting and explore what happens outside the frame. How could the image continue and what happens off the edge of the painting? Did you discover something new?

>Observe how people interact with art. Watch the space between people and art and the space between people.

> Imagine you lived inside a piece of art. Which piece would you choose and why?

>Find a fruit, a flower, a dog and a hat.

>Find a painting that matches your outfit.

We reviewed all of the activities we had tried. We all most enjoyed responding to questions that required an imaginative response, explored emotions and feelings, involved spotting a list of types of objects and made us curious to look more closely at details.

After this, we were really privileged to spend an hour with Arne Richards and Isabelle Knowland who explained how they use museum collections and musical instruments to work with many different groups including people in prison. They played their instruments for us, transporting us to amazing places in our imaginations. Arne introduced us to a range of unusual instruments from around the globe and as a group we created a musical accompaniment to a piece of writing. It was a magical experience for us all. Thank you so much Arne and Isobel.

Isobel told us about a project she is working on for Refugee Week

Waving Hello

is a project challenging preconceived notions about refugees and asylum seekers and exploring our common humanity in a creative and interdisciplinary way. With the Ashmolean Museum as our inspiration the project has involved music, storytelling and poetry, and visual arts.  For our final event, we would like to include as many people as possible from across our community, particularly those of different faiths.

A flotilla of tiny paper boats will ‘sail’ across Bonn Square on Sunday 25th June, 12pm – 4pm,  celebrating diversity, recognising the importance of trade and travel in the history of Western art and commemorating those who have perished crossing the Mediterranean in their bid to escape war and famine.

If you can fold a piece of paper, be part of this temporary art installation, the aim of which is to fill the upper area of Bonn Square with small origami paper boats flowing out from the Tirah Memorial. The boats represent the journeys people make to both come to the UK and UK nationals travelling to other countries to live and work. Boats will be made by groups who have participated in the project to date and also by members of the public, either made in advance or on the day. (A video giving instructions on how to make the paper boats can be found on YouTube  Waving Hello!)

 

 

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Discovering an artist’s response to art

Silver,  gold, ivory, coconut shell, mother of pearl and nautilus shell; these are some of the materials used in the huge range of objects in the Welby collection. Curator Matthew Winterbottom gave us a tour of the finely crafted, highly decorated and often strange and unusual objects in the collection, collected by Michael Welby during the last century when they were unfashionable. Some were surprising drinking cups or decorative ornaments and many combined natural materials with fine, sometimes gilded, silverwork.

We then had the huge privilege of meeting artist Deborah Thomas who explained the thinking behind her stunning glass sculpture which she was commissioned to create in response to the collection. She described the design of the swirling shape and the use of pieces of green glass which linked with the objects on display. We handled the materials she uses- broken glass and strong wire, and saw examples of her drawings and the processes she uses. She told us fascinating stories about some of the projects she has worked on and we saw her sketchbooks. It was clear how passionate  and committed she is to her work. Thank you Matthew and Deborah for sharing your time and expertise with us!

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Greek Coins revealing Alexander the Great

This week Simon Glenn, Research Fellow for the Oxford-Paris Alexander Project introduced us to some of the issues involved around creating a display about ancient Greek coins.

We saw how he used enlarged images of coins and a map as a background to the display to tell the story of Alexander with coins. We then visited the the coin study room to handle ancient coins from the time of Alexander the Great. We saw how some had been stamped or punched to check if the silver was solid and explored the images on each side with a magnifying glass. We all agreed that we hadn’t realised how fascinating and revealing coins could be.

We enjoyed handling this gold stater showing Athena and Nike,  HCR9627 (330-320)  and also this silver silver tetradrachm with the head of Heracles wearing a lion scalp and Zeus seated on throne, holding  an eagle and sceptre, HCR23163 (336-323 BC). You can see more  coins on the Ashmolean’s Coin Room’s online collection page  http://hcr.ashmus.ox.ac.uk 

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Meet some of the CREATIVES Panel

I have really loved being a part of the Ashmolean’s  CREATIVES Youth Panel as I have met so many interesting people and gained a lot of insight into how the museum runs behind the scenes. The highlight of the Panel for me has been organising and coming up with ideas for Museum events as well as talking to the people who work at the Museum and learning about their different roles and jobs.  Ellen

The Ashmolean Panel has given me an unique insight and perspective into how a museum as prestigious as ours works from within. I decided to become part of the panel as I have always been interested in history and art, especially when combined.  The Panel has given me the opportunity to meet members of staff in the Museum, from curators and historic researchers, to co-ordinators of the gift shop. I have immensely enjoyed visiting exhibitions and collections, meeting new people on the panel and discovering a new case for historic artefacts within the Museum. Definitely an experience  and worth missing a lie-in once a month on a Saturday morning! Anna G

The CREATIVES Panel is a great experience to meet new people and to see The Ashmolean from a different perspective. We get to organise and attend Live Friday event and organised one activity at the most recent Live Friday. This was a useful situation to learn about organisation, time management and social skills. Immie

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Live Friday as it happened….

Ashmolean – Live Friday “SUPERSONIC” by Ian Wallman

To say that our contribution to Live Friday went without a hitch isn’t exactly true. Really, it went TOO well- we were swamped with people!

Ashmolean – Live Friday “SUPERSONIC” by Ian Wallman

As we had agreed  in previous meetings, the activities we would run were based around Turner’s painting of the High Street with a ‘spot the difference’, colouring activity and a chance for people to dress up and superimpose themselves into the painting.  At the start of the evening, we were expecting quite a quiet night as were were at the furthest distance from the rest of the night’s events. We had our clothes rack set up with costumes, the tables and pencils ready for colouring and of course the painting itself. Throughout the night, Hannah, Tabitha and Maggie , all dressed in costume travelled around the Museum promoting our activities. This turned out to be a rather brilliant plan as, soon enough, we could not move for the amount of people who had come to try our activities. We may have been one of the most popular activities of the night! In the end it all turned out well and was a valuable experience for everyone involved.  Lewis

Ashmolean – Live Friday “SUPERSONIC” by Ian Wallman

Ashmolean – Live Friday “SUPERSONIC” by Ian Wallman

 

 

 

 

Ashmolean – Live Friday “SUPERSONIC” by Ian Wallman

We were located in the gallery with the painting itself and attracted people with our ‘spot the difference’ flyers. We also had colouring in a line drawing of the painting and dressing up in costume and putting yourselves in the picture using the app Pic Collage. Our activities attracted a solid flow of people throughout the evening. We were responsible for organising and running the activities and engaging with members of the public who visited the gallery. Overall, it was a wonderful, if quite busy, experience. Anna W

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