Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

China

"Differences and Similarities"

13 year olds, 2017, 7th Grade, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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With open minds and ears, 7C came to art class full of energy! In this session we made book covers for our joint project with our new friends in China. We decided to use recycled paper not only to be ecological and creative, but also, this way one can extrapolate so much information about the local environment in Finland just from the words and pictures found on the paper.

The first challenge was coming up with a unanimous title for the book!  Everybody was so gracious and diplomatic that it went smoothly, but we did go through quite many processes to get there. First we got into small groups to brainstorm and come up with some ideas. Then every group wrote their favorite idea on the board. They were:

- The wisdom of art
- The book of art
- Dear You
- Art book / Taidekirja / 藝術書
- The story of difference and similarity
- FinChi Konchita

We all voted and 'The story of difference and similarity' won! All was settled, until somebody spoke their mind and asked if we could shorten it. Good thing this person opened up because they made a very good point about why it should be modified. So then we all revoted and that's how the title 'Differences and Similarities' was born!

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The range of papers gave them so much to play with color, patterns, and storylines!

I think these woven pieces of art are beautiful and we hope you like them too!

With love,
Arlene, Saara, and the artists at 7C

The 13 year old artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 13 year old artists from Shenzhen Middle School in Shenzhen, China.

In autumn 2017 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.

"This is us"

2017, China, United KingdomArlene TuckerComment
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Year 4 have had another fantastic art project with Heather on Friday. The children started off by discussing the artistic journey they have been on so far and the relationship they are creating with the children in China. Lots of pupils suggested titles for their work which revolved around the idea of a team identity, and the title we have decided upon is 'This is us'. As a class, we felt this showed how all of our art work is a representation of our characteristics, personalities, likes, dislikes and artistic talent. 

After having chosen the project's title, we then had a fantastic session with Heather where the children created a book cover using weaving. We used all recycled material, and some children even used practice pages from previous Dear You art projects to incorporate within their weaving. I hope you will agree that the woven book covers they have produced are excellent! They have all used lots of different colours and types of papers. 

We are all looking forward to creating the next piece of artwork! 

Many thanks, 
Alice Wilby

What I noticed about this session was that the pupils really started to think for themselves and to make connections with the other projects they had done, they had really enjoyed receiving and looking at the work that their partner class had sent and integrated some of their ideas into their weaving, introducing hidden flaps for their title – so the dialogue becomes evident in the art works they are producing. The children said that they used the visual clues in the work that they received to imagine the questions they had asked when they couldn’t read the Chinese text, I wonder whether they would have done this had they not answered the same brief. I am also impressed with  how thoughtful the children are and concerned with how they can communicate their ideas to those in China.

Best wishes,
Heather Connelly
Dear You Workshop Leader

The artists in Class 4 (8-9 year olds) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England are making and sharing art with Grade 3 (9-10 year olds) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China.

Questions lead to more questions

2017, 4 years old, 5 years old, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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The Tigers really know how to create a welcoming and artistic environment! They had so many questions and things to share even before we got started with The art of asking questions project! This sort of excitement is the inspiration every artist looks for!

We started the session by first looking at the artworks we received from the Full Moons. WOW!! We talked about what their pictures were communicating and was wondering about all sorts of things about our new friends. The questions started pouring out so we made a long list and then founds ways to put image to the text.

Some wonderful questions and explanations of the Tigers' pictures:
Vanessa asked, "What countries have you been to?" She drew a picture of the world.
Olivia drew a house because she asked, "Where do you live?"
Rishitha asked, "When is your birthday?" In the picture, "there are fireworks and my birthday."
Mikelis asked, "Where do you live?" He said, "I drew the house. I drew a mother house with a wheel on the top of another house."
Nea asked, "What is your favorite food?" She drew a picture of pasta.
Cride asked, "Do you like to go swimming?" and drew a swimming pool.
Achu asked, "Who is your friend?" "I drew a friend who is having a birthday."
Oskari asked, "What is your favorite shirt?" "I drew my favorite shirt!"
Erik asked, "What do you like to play?" "My favorite toy is a castle. It's at home."
Aapo asked, "Do you like shark tornadoes?"
Arn asked, "What is your favorite shirt?"
Renu asked, "What does your room look like?" "It's a picture of my room."
Joann asked, "What is your favorite color?" "Rainbow!"
Anton asked, "What do you like to play?" "What do you do when you are outside?"

We also came up with MORE questions!

What do you watch? What house were you in when you were small? Do you have a tv?

We hope you like our artwork! We like yours a lot!!

Our best,
The Tigers, Arlene, Iveta, and Atefeh

The Tigers from Your School Espoo, Finland are making and sharing with the Full Moons from Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia, USA. Both groups are 4-5 years old.

Kysymisen taide

2017, Finland, ChinaArlene TuckerComment

Syksyllä alkanut Dear You -projekti jatkui toisella työpajalla. Projekti koostuu neljästä työpajakerrasta, joiden teemana on minä ja ympäristö. Projektin lähtökohtana on ajatus taiteesta prosessina ja dialogina ihmisten välillä. Työpajoissa syntyneet teokset lähetetään ulkomaille ystävyyskouluihin. Me saimme pariksi koulun Kiinasta, jonne ensimmäisen työpajan teokset ovat jo matkalla. Jäämme odottelemaan taideteoksia kiinalaisilta nuorilta.

Tällä kertaa pohdimme yhdessä oppilaiden ja taitelijavierailijamme Arlene Tuckerin kanssa kysymyksiä ja kysymistä. Jotta tietäisimme mitä toiset ajattelevat, on meidän kysyttävä, kerrottava ja kuunneltava. Äänemme on vahva työkalu. Käytetään sitä!

Tutustuimme graafiseen myös suunnitteluun. Mietimme tekstityylejä, kirjainten kokoa, sommittelua ja väriä viestinnän työkaluina. Taideteostemme tekniikkana käytimme erilaisia piirtimiä.

http://hyllinkuvis.blogspot.fi/2017/11/kysymisen-taide.html

Is it cold in China? Probably not as cold as it is in Finland!

2017, 5 years old, China, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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The thing about questions is that once you get started you can't stop! That's how it was with The Explorers when I was with them making The Art of Asking Questions project. When I arrived to ISH we had such a lovely time looking at the artworks received from the artists in China. That's actually when our inquisitive minds started going!  We made personal connections to the self-portraits and then wanted to naturally know more about WHO these amazing artists are!

As a class, we came up with a loooong list of questions.  We then thought about different ways of depicting these questions and got to the making art bit as soon as possible!

We had a great conversation about why we chose to draw that picture for our question:

What do you like? "It's Darth Vader and Lollipops. I liked making it."

What candy do you like? "This is me and my big brother. He eats candy, but I don't any more. It's not good for my teeth."

What story do you like? "It's the story of Finland. That's me :) The house is from ISH"

What movie do you like? "My favorite is the Lion King.

Is your school fun? "I have fun at ISH"

What do you celebrate? "I'm celebrating Happy Birthday for my baby brother.

We like your art!!

My best,
Arlene & The Explorers

The Explorers, 5-6 year olds, from International School of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing with the artists aged 6 years old at Shenzhen Primary School in Shenzhen, China.

Philosophical questions and art

2017, 13 year olds, 7th Grade, Dear You Art Workshops, China, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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It has been a while since I have been sincerely thought provoked and moved by the many questions the artists in Kontula were asking. Blown away by the artistic and conceptual skills these artists have!

As part of the warm up we got into a good discussion about questions, poster art, and graphic design. Some artists were sharing what their favorite fonts were so we took a moment to imagine the font used in different contexts and how that would have an affect on the message.  One way to see how our art is being perceived is to ask, tell and listen. Our voices are a powerful tool. We should use it!

We also looked at graphic design and artists who use graphics in their artworks such as Ed Ruscha. We considered text styles, letter size, composition, and color as communication tools. 

Then the questions started pouring out! Some artists wanted to make art from their own questions and others chose to use questions from their classmates. In any case, the outcomes were amazing!

Thank you and we hope you have a moment to answer our questions!

With love,
Arlene, Saara, and the artists at 7C

The 13 year old artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 13 year old artists from Shenzhen Middle School in Shenzhen, China.

In autumn 2017 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.

Exploring and making with the artists in China!

2017, 3rd Grade, China, United KingdomArlene Tucker24 Comments
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Hey! Dear You!

In order to understand the foreign pen pals well, the headteacher Miss Diao Yangyang led the students to visit the website of Sneinton C of E Primary School before doing the second project. They also visited the website of Dear You for the first time art works and creative process of the British children.

The children are very excited when they read the news. They had a lot of questions to ask their foreign friends, such as: What do they learn at school? How to have classes? Do they have homework? What do they usually eat for lunch? What animals are in their city?

After that, the children began to discuss in groups, thinking how to express their questions in art form. Some children thought to make greeting cards, hiding the question paper in them; some wanted to write down the questions with brush pens;  some wanted to use the form of the combination of paper-cut and painting ; some chose to write the questions on the origami etc.

After discussing and defining their own artistic expression, the children came home and turned their problems into a piece of art with appropriate materials.

Best wishes,
Lisa

The artists in Grade 3 (9-10 years old) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China are making and sharing art with the artists in Class 4 (8-9 years old) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England Both groups are aged 8-9 years old.

Friendship grows between the artists in UK and China!

2017, 8 years olds, 9 years old, China, Dear You Art Workshops, Dear You Workshop Leader, United KingdomArlene Tucker5 Comments
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The children at Sneinton Church of England Primary School have once again had a fantastic time completing their next piece of artwork for the Dear You Art Project. It all started with great excitement by opening the envelope containing artwork from our partner school. The children were fascinated by the self portraits, as well as the questions they had sent in Chinese writing. All of the pupils commented on how beautiful this writing was, and how it was like an art form in itself, which led perfectly onto the next project, where the focus was font and text. 

To simulate discussion about different fonts and text types, we used a powerpoint created by Heather to discuss the varying fonts we have in our classroom and how each of them made me feel. It was very interesting to hear the children's views on how one font may suggest somebody was scared, and another one may imply that somebody is very serious and possibly earns lots of money! They were fascinated by how a font can tell you so much about the artist and their message! 

As a class, we then talked about how we use questions in everyday life to find out information about people's lives and interests. Each child came up with a question to ask their partner student, and then thought about how they were going to present it. We talked about using different sized letters, stencils, different textures, as well as a variety of fonts. We then created a piece of artwork by drawing the questions using lots of different fonts! The children were concentrating so well and they really enjoyed trying a new art form. We hope you enjoy our artwork! 

Sincerely,
Alice Wilby

The artists in Class 4 (8-9 year olds) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England are making and sharing art with Grade 3 (9-10 year olds) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China.

The artists from Kontula!

2017, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, China, 13 year oldsArlene TuckerComment
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It was a pretty magical day with the artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo! We first started the session by warming up our minds and bodies.  This is something I like to do before I start making art and I was happy that everybody was willing to try and participate.  We all stood up and took turns doing different movements to activate ourselves.  Shake it out to let it out!

Everybody was very excited to hear that we have friends in China that we will be exchanging art with!  As when making new friends, we slowly start by sharing bits and pieces about ourselves.  We saw this as a chance to also learn something new about ourselves.  First we got into small groups to do some investigation.  Our partners would be our mirrors and tell us what they see about us- factual things like how the light flickers against our hair, the color of our eyes, details about our hands, etc.  Sometimes taking a close look at something else can also help with how we approach looking at ourselves.

When we started experimenting with the carbon transfer technique it seemed slow going at first because this method does take time to prepare, but once the marks started to come through, everybody got more motivated to make their self-portrait.  Everybody had such a different approach and idea to making their self-portrait!

The class wrote a letter for Tian Tian and her artists:

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We hope you like our artwork!

The 13 year old artists at Helsingin yhteislyseo in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing art with the 13 year old artists from Shenzhen Middle School in Shenzhen, China.

In autumn 2017 Dear You project in Kontula is supported by the Museum of Impossible Forms.
 

Expressing ourselves with carbon transfers

2017, 1st Grade, 6 years old, China, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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Teacher Tian Tian and her young artists in China have been busy making art!  They were experimenting with the carbon transfer technique and then used marker to add color to their self-portraits.

Their friends in Finland cannot wait to meet them!

The 6 year old artists at Shenzhen Primary School in Shenzhen, China are making and sharing with the Explorers, 5-6 year olds, from International School of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland.

ISH Explorers create self-portraits!

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, China, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

It was so nice to see the two groups of Explorers have Morning Meeting in their own classrooms. Both Mrs. Nikurautio and Mr. Prebble have their own lovely way of being with their students. We then got all together to talk about the first Dear You project- Unique You!  Everybody was so excited to hear that we have new friends in China who will be making and sharing art with us. We talked about when we first meet somebody new, what would we like to share with them?  What would we like to know about our friends?  This guided us in making our self-portrait.

We first used pencil to make the carbon transfer and then added charcoal.  Once the mark making started to come through, their curiosity grew bigger and bigger.  The artists could see how the charcoal was also adding elements of their fingerprints, which is a part of who they are!

Some reflections from the artists are:

Enzo said, "me playing with my dog. My dog is barking at his dog friend. I held my dog so he didn't run away."

Devansh said, "I'm in a boat going to India. There's a submarine and fish following us.

Deethya said, "She's at the hairdresser because she needs short hair. She's with her mum and there's a rainbow behind you since it's a beautiful day."

Aishiki said, "There are hearts in the sky. Because I like them. I feel like I am hearts in the sky."

One little artist said, "My picture makes me happy."  

They all make me happy!!

Before closing the package we all sat down to write a letter for our friends.  We have lots of questions!

Do you like frogs?
Do you like fish?
What do you do in China?
What are your names?
What language do you speak?
Where do you go in China?

We can't wait to see your artworks!

With love,
The Explorers, Arlene, Mrs. Nikurautio and Mr. Prebble

The Explorers, 5-6 year olds, from International School of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland are making and sharing with the artists aged 6 years old at Shenzhen Primary School in Shenzhen, China.

Our first mail art exchange!

2017, 10 years old, 3rd Grade, 9 years old, China, United KingdomArlene Tucker1 Comment
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Hey! Dear You!

We are from Taizhou Phoenix Primary School of Jiangsu, China. We are the children of Class 3 Grade 3 who are aged from 9 to 10. We just start to learn English recently, so we can not write well in English. But we can express ourselves by drawing or doing art works. You can guess how I look like and how I feel by our pictures.

On Sept. 26, the art teacher Miss Liu Chunjuan took us to the art room. Firstly, She drew a big body on the blackboard and let us discuss what makes humans unique to each other. For example, the DNA, the fingerprints, personalities etc. The children shared ideas and wrote many key words on it. Secondly, she asked us to draw a self-portrait . We took many pictures about them. Thirdly, Miss Liu showed us how to cover the parer with graphite, and we tried. Wow! The paper turned dark soon and so did our hands. Everybody was happy! Then, we took another different colour of paper to make a transfer drawing. Some of the kids used fingers , some used feet, some used hands, some used arms. All of us laughed happily. At last, we wrote ours name on them to let foreign friends know who I am.

Children’s comments :
1. I won’t forget this drawing lesson one hundred years later.
2. It is the first time for me to make pictures with fingers. That looks great!
3. I want to try again to make it more clearly.
4. I know that everybody is unique .

Teachers reflection:
1. The children enjoyed the process of doing the art work. They are eager to be my little teacher to help classmates to finish. They become more helpful.
2. The open question ‘what is unique?’ expand the children’s thinking . Everybody learns to share.
3. We are eager to see the art works from the UK. Exchanging ideas makes human get close.

Thank Dear You for linking us together!

Sincerely,
Miss Liu Chunjuan

The artists in Grade 3 (9-10 years old) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China are making and sharing art with the artists in Class 4 (8-9 years old) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England Both groups are aged 8-9 years old.

I am unique!

2017, 8 years olds, 9 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Dear You Workshop Leader, China, United KingdomArlene TuckerComment
Heather Connelly, local artist to Nottingham and Dear You workshop leader, introduces to Class 4 where there new friends abroad live. In China!

Heather Connelly, local artist to Nottingham and Dear You workshop leader, introduces to Class 4 where there new friends abroad live. In China!

Class 4 had a fantastic art workshop thinking all about the topic of what makes them unique and how we are all different. After having completed some homework beforehand about their families, appearance, DNA, likes and dislikes, travel and heritage, the children were ready to explore their ideas in art. Heather showed us some fantastic images of how celebrated artists have created pieces focused on the differences in the human body and the idea of a map to represent uniqueness. The children then discussed how they were all different and how this diversity can be represented in artwork. The children loved comparing their fingerprints, as well as talking about their different heritages and how this influences their daily lives. 

After discussing the ways in which uniqueness and the idea of 'self' could be represented in art, the children then started practising their own ideas. Many children created a pencil drawing of the lines of their hands and their fingerprint. The patterns created on paper were brilliant! One of the children commented, "My fingerprint is completely different from my friend's. That means I'm unique. That's pretty amazing!" I hope it is clear that this uniqueness is expressed in the children's fantastic artwork. 

During this practice stage, many children were fascinated with how lines and simple patterns could be so effective in artwork. They soon realised that art is not a perfect picture with recognisable objects; it could instead be a representation of themselves through basic lines, swirls and strokes of their pencils. The children then used carbon paper to transfer their drawings, which created an interesting texture on the paper. Some pupils loved using the carbon ink to create more texture, which represented their own characteristics! 

Having looked at all of the pieces of artwork, I think it is apparent that Class 4 are a very talented and unique group of children! No piece of artwork is the same, and the little slips of paper tell the story of the artistic process for each child. 

We are all very excited to receive the artwork from our partner school and to complete our next piece of art! 

Many thanks, 
Alice Wilby

The artists in Class 4 (8-9 year olds) at Sneinton C of E St Stephens Primary School in Nottingham, England are making and sharing art with Grade 3 (9-10 year olds) at Taizhou Pheonix Primary School in Jiangsu, China.