Kokrobitey Institute 9/10 ART Trip

DSC_0180We 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.

DSC_0153The 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.

DSC_0103The 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.

DSC_0145The 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.

DSC_0215Day 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.

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5 Responses to Kokrobitey Institute 9/10 ART Trip

  1. Lisa Fagan says:

    spectacular! can’t wait for the staff trip!

  2. Thea says:

    I really liked the trip. It was good to have small rooms and made up beds, so that we didn’t have to bring sheets and stuff. The flowers on the bed were one of the things that made that little difference! The food was really good as well. Much better standards than a normal class trip resort. We didn’t eat dry bread with jam or ham once through the whole trip, so that was above my expectations. I liked the workshop where we carved out linoleum the best. I think the guide about the “green bags” was a bit too long and that it took too much of our art time. I think the room changes should be made before going on the trip, because it can be hard to do room changes and obviously saying out loud that you would like to share rooms with someone else in front of that person. I think the films were interesting. I did not understand how the two movies were related to art, though. I know many were a little bit disappointed when they understood that it wasn’t an actual movie we were watching. It could be easy to make that assumption when it says “movie night” on the agenda. Yes I would like to attend another art trip in the future! I had a great time! 🙂

  3. Savannag says:

    This weekend a group of artists visited a lovely art society, called Kokrobitey Institute. This institute was allocated in a region named Kokrobitey and was established by a wonderful lady we met called Aunty. The trip over all was a great experience and allowed me as an art student to see the multiple ways art can be done. Aunty spoke of art in such a genuine and optimistic way and this in a certain way influenced my thoughts of Art altogether. The accommodation was splendid and managed to stay clean regardless of all those sweets we snuck into our room. The beds were comfortable and the room was spacious. Also, at night we all expected to be very warm, however, rather the contrast was happening, we froze! We interacting in several workshops throughout, but, the particular workshop that stood out to me was the drawing session we had on saturday morning. I loved the way Aunty taught us, she didn’t describe drawing physiques as a specific rule or method we had to follow, she showed us how to see certain things differently; it was all about perspective. And, that’s what I loved about that workshop. Later in the night, on Friday, we watched two movies. One Ted Clip and another 15 minute comic strip on the environment. Honestly, the Ted clip managed to capture my attention and kept me intrigued though, the comic clip personally, could have been switched for a more interesting video on the environment. In the future, I would love to attend a similar art trip as this one, though a suggestion for further improvements could be to include more ‘art aspects’ to it over all.

  4. Cara Oerlemans says:

    I loved the trip and I am so happy that I was able to go. I learned a lot, not only about art but also about the community service that Kokrobitey Institute provides for the local village schools. I also learned a little about my peers.
    The rooms were fully decorated with bougainvillea flowers on the pillows and shells on the desks. I also really liked the extra ‘sheet’ on the bed that was made by using the batik process. The bathrooms were always clean and the cold showers actually woke me up much quicker than I expected. I was also very happy with the gauze for the mosquitoes and the wooden louvers for air ventilation, instead of having curtains in the rooms.

    I also appreciated all the little details everywhere like on the painted chairs in the eating area and also in the roof of the eating area where bougainvillea flowers were hanging. The little Adinkra symbols and other small paintings on the cupboards and on the pillars also caught my eye each time I walked past.

    The food we ate was delicious and well prepared, and it felt like I was at home. There was a variety of food to choose from at each meal, and what I found interesting was that at every meal, there were fruits to eat as well. I really enjoyed the breakfast, which was mainly pancakes and fruit salad, and the hot chocolate was some of the best.
    I also thought and still think that having the students wash their own cutlery, plates and cups was really smart. In a way it made us work together as a team, and I must say that the African drums at the dinner session really speeded up the washing process. We all ended up dancing, washing and splashing each other with soap water, and when we finished, most of us had to go shower, as we were wet and full of dishwashing liquid.

    One of my three highlights has to be the acquaintance with the service that Kokrobitey Institute provides to the local schools. I found it really amazing how they donated all those recycled bags and learning cards to the less privileged schools in the area. Secondly, the batik workshop because I was really looking forward to learning how to do it and I found it really interesting how the wax blocks out the dye. I also enjoyed the morning meetings where we stood in a circle, held each other’s hands and sent a pulse around the circle, while taking a deep fresh breath of morning air. We also learnt an Adinkra symbol both mornings and we talked a little about local proverbs, and I found that really interesting as I have never heard Twi before.

    My favourite workshop was the lino carving with the linoleum blocks, because you could have your own design on it and we actually got to take the ‘stamps’ home . Everyone had an interesting design. I did an Adinkra symbol which is also the currently the new school logo, I think that my design was a good idea as we were on a school trip. Along with my Adinkra symbol, I had my name in Arabic at the top and in Korean at the bottom.

    I would not have done anything differently, but some of us missed some hammocks in some of the palm trees.
    My future tip to other groups going is to take your own water bottle. It is also really hot there and you do quite a lot of activities and it is good to drink water regularly and during the activities.
    I was really shocked about the statistics of the world’s resources going to waste and how fast it was going to waste in ‘The Story of Stuff’. I also thought that ‘The Story of Stuff’ video might have been an inspiration for having the recycled bag project. The other TED video was really inspiring and it made a lot of sense once the video was finished. Both videos were related to Kokrobitey in a certain way.
    I would encourage the idea of having another group sent down there, whether it is another 9th/10th grade group or even an 8th grade group, because it really opened my eyes and taught me some things I never knew about art.
    I hope the Kokrobitey Staff is reading this, because I would just like to thank them once more, I truly enjoyed the trip and learnt a lot. I would like to come by again soon to see the development of the work areas across the road and also just to say hi.
    Cara Oerlemans

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