We have just come back from our first ever 9/10 ART overnight field trip. I was very fortunate to be asked by the director of the school if I’d be interested in seeing this place for possible art trips, student personal projects, and CAS opportunities. I am so glad I took him up on this opportunity because I have discovered a fabulous perfectly designed art center with so many amazing opportunities for the students. This was our first trip with a pure art focus but there is certainly potential for so much more.
The Kokrobitey Institute’s main project at the moment is designing bags from recycled materials for local schools. These bags are made out of old billboards with decorative details from fabrics, plastic bottles, cans and inner bike tubes. Not only have they designed bags but they are also in the process of putting together educational materials for the schools. I was particularly impressed with the cards they have designed jam packed with educational material and games. These come with the bags. How brilliant! Some of the other ideas are; a bag with a play mat so that children can have their own personal play spaces when the parents are out or at school and a categorizing game of sensory materials where students will be able to smell, here, taste and sort the objects provided in a colourful game.
The students loved their rooms as they were beautifully and simply decorated with an African theme. They loved the touches of Bougainvillea on the pillows and in the bathroom. The place has such a welcoming feel due to its “arty” touches and attention to detail such as the mosaic sinks, sculptures, glass bottles hanging from the trees, colourful painted chairs and tables, and carvings. Hearing the sound of the ocean and the balconies also add to the relaxing atmosphere of the place.
The students began with an explanation of the bag project among other initiatives, this was followed with a formal presentation in the small theatre. They then had a delicious pasta lunch and participated in the first workshop which was a fun session of Batiking. They stamped and painted their small pieces of fabric with hot wax which was then soaked in dye. Due to the time limit they could only do one colour. Session two was Frottage which was more of a lesson about language of art and the ability to see detail and the importance of space along with the beauty of texture from rubbings in crayon, chalk and charcoal. A quick printing demonstration was also given before returning to the restaurant for American style fried chicken and chips. There was a fabulous drumming performance whilst the students ate and provided a rythm for them to wash the dishes to. We then watched two educational short films one being “The Story of Stuff.” Rather exhausted yet excited to be with their friends it was time for the students to go to their rooms.
Day 2 began with circle time 1 minute silence and then breakfast of pancakes, yoghurt and fruit. Circle time was then continued with learning one Adinkra symbol and a proverb. The first workshop for the day was a drawing class where the students were introduced to figures right from the basics of a stick figure. Proportion was the main focus to this class followed by the qualities of charcoal. After a couple of hours it was time for a pizza lunch with an icy banana and chocolate milkshake which was a delicious surprise. The final workshop was lino printing. I was unwell so had to leave before this workshop was finished I am however looking forward to hearing about it and getting the final feedback from the students who were on this trip. I will add their comments to this post shortly. Overall it was a fabulous trip, one I know the students enjoyed.
In two weeks I am taking some staff there to do a very similar workshop over the weekend which I am sure they will enjoy.