Thursday, February 28, 2013

BIG featured in Russian

Our far away friends Margarita and Ilya, from the design studio Zilasaule, interviewed 
us for a Russian illustration and design magazine called Pointer. Incredibly exciting to see  
BIG stories flying literally all over the world! 

 'By publishing the work of kids and artists side by side we are seeking to disrupt the context and heirachy of art to allow for a different and surprising viewing of both works. We have found that both kids and artists love this way of being presented.' Lilly and Jo

'There was an urgency in wanting to create an awesome magazine for kids that wasn’t attached to a commercial product or place and this inspired risk-taking.  We were also buoyed by the intensity and rigour of our collaboration which made the midnight hours worth it.' Lilly and Jo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Artist and Child: Ink and Watercolours

Twyla has been asking me daily to teach her a new technique or introduce her to art materials she has never seen before. She loves the idea of using real artists paints and paper, and thrives in an environment where both she, the materials and the work are given time and undivided attention. There is a clear difference between her independent creative explorations, our collaborations, and the time we spend exploring new processes of art making together. There are a few things that make this shared time so special:

1. Good quality artists materials. In this case black indian ink, an ink nib and holder, watercolours and watercolour paper. Buying student quality materials in art supply stores is a cheaper option.

2. A special work space and conversation about how to care for the materials before beginning. You could talk about mixing colours in a separate palette so the actual tray doesn't get muddy and how to wash the brush well in between colours. Twyla loves the process of caring for special materials and knows that at other times she can body paint with pools of colour on large pieces of paper.

3. Allowing an expanse of time for exploration and discovery. We share the excitement when Twyla  comes across ways of using materials that I have not discovered before.

A special space created for exploring new techniques with quiet and attention. 
Learning to hold the nib and move it across the page and discovering that it works best in one direction. Delighting in accidental drips and drops that can be turned into unexpected aspects of her work. 
The whole time she works she tells the stories of the characters being born onto her page. Her lines are alive and the story literally comes to life through her marks and colours.
I am painting over their heads so it looks like they are under their blankets. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

BIG at Fringe World

Western Australia's 2013 Fringe World has taken over the city! There are circus tents on skyline rooftops, the giant sculptured wheel of Mechronos captivating passers by, real life mermaids beckoning, Spiegeltents and fairy lights, and a plethora of performances for kids of all ages. Last weekend we had our BIG team meeting for Issue 4 with Pippa and Luca in a grassed caravan outside the fabulous Lunar Circus Big Top.  The Perth team were once again brilliant in their navigation of the draft pages and inspired in bringing missing page links together and telling it like it is! With a continual text stream to Sydney, artworks were chosen, decisions made and a debrief of Game On! all rolled into one VERY hot days work! (40degrees). Following the meeting we enjoyed the Kids Comedy Gala - wonderful collection of artists all presenting at Fringe World, including the hilarious Mr Fatt and his  brilliantly irreverent band, the silent film comedy of Tom Flanagan's  Kaput (go see it!) and the endearingly talented Pitts Family Circus. If you are in Perth and have little ones, even an evening stroll through the cultural centre will provide a big night out - so much is there in the atmosphere, sounds, and energy of this incredible festival. A truly inspired and vibrant event. Don't miss it!
Luca and Pippa work responsively to try out the BIG artwork and projects of Issue 4 Into The Dark
Pippa responds live in the moment to Luca's dragon in celebration of Chinese New year
We loved meeting The Pitts Family Circus after the show. An awesome act side by side; father and son.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mini magazine-makers in Sydney

The tiniest member of the BIG team and her mama recently set off across country on a LONG and magical flight for a girls own adventure in Sydney. Together, we spent six days arranging the BIG pages, seeing sights, having BIG meetings, perusing galleries and art stores, splashing waves, sticking, sculpturing, enjoying books and baby cino's, and watching players on the stages of the iconic Sydney Opera House. After seeing the not-so-imaginative 'Imaginocean', we were then guests at The Cat in The Hat  - a very life-like translation of the book indeed! The Creative Play interactive artist designed projects and storytelling after the shows were fantastic and gave the events a multi-dimensional feeling which is so great for sense-making and engagement! The girls loved the new outdoor area of the Opera House with Fruit Fly circus performing, stacks of wooden blocks and oversized lego to create with in the sand pit and on the grass - a very cool space for kids and their grown-ups too. Of course we were then entertained at home with impromptu plays inspired by the shows. The 2013 Kids At The House includes Andy Griffiths 13 Story Treehouse (loved by the BIG boys). Our picks are Miss OpheliaLittle Big Shots and The Man Who Planted Trees among other gems.
Side by side response play at The White Rabbit Gallery
The calm of worlds underwater was balm for us all
Amazing to watch our BIG babies grow into girls who have a LOT to say :) Mini magazine-makers!

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