|| Bright Sparks workshops are run in groups
of up to six children and are specifically designed for the
needs of the children involved. Each session is unique, as children
respond to the material in their own way. Children incorporate
their ideas, which grow and evolve throughout the course of
each session. A free-flowing exchange develops, as workshops
are co-constructed between the children and myself.
Sometimes we finger paint to beautiful music or feel the sensation
of clay as it squishes between our fingers. We might pretend
to be animals in the jungle and make creatures from recycled
art materials. We read stories, develop our own characters,
make costumes and act out stories. We have created books of
things that are important to us. Once we used a green piece
of Lycra to make an enormous boa constrictor. The children crawled
inside and made shapes with their bodies, a living, breathing
human sculpture emerged. The list of possibilities is as endless.
Each session begins with afternoon tea so that children have
time to relax after school. This is generally followed by a
warm up, an exploratory or experiential phase and some form
of visual representation.
Movement is an integral part of each workshop. This helps children
to release energy and bring a sense of aliveness back into their
bodies after a long day at school. We begin with a variety of
energetic activities that help children to increase their repertoire
of movement. Children move through the space with flying leaps
and a variety of other forms of creative movement. When some
of this energy has been released we concentrate on movements
that help children centre themselves. We also focus on partner
and group work to help children build an awareness of their
relationship to others.
Children then move to individual workspaces so they can focus
on their own creative work. While they are immersed in their
work I spend time with each child individually. The process
of companioning a child in the creative process involves being
present with them and describing aspects of their work and their
experience of making. Children will often talk about what they
are doing and I reflect back anything that seems important.
This process helps children feel accepted and understood and
a sense of value is gained from knowing that someone has taken
the time to peer into their world.
When they have finished children have the opportunity to share
their work and talk about their experiences with other members
of the group. Children are often really excited at the end of
the session and look forward to the time we spend together each