Session Snapshot

 

    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 week.