Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

Australia

Transposing friends in Kokkola from Bulli

2019, Australia, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
Nell’s transposition of Alisa.

Nell’s transposition of Alisa.

The students here at Bulli Public School were very excited to see pictures of their art buddies (or “pen pals” as they’ve been saying). They were amazed that a lot of the qualities that they wrote about themselves (friendly, creative, funny, brave, etc) where also qualities that their Finnish friends also mentioned. We’re all different but the same !

For Dear You Project 2 we began by discussing what we thought about the person portrayed in the picture, and what emotions that came to mind. Initially common traits were spoken about, like “funny, nice, cool, friendly”. I encouraged them to think deeper, and to analyse what that person might be like if they met them in person. This prompted better responses like “wonderful, shy, helpful, imaginative, compassionate”.

Next, based on the range of transposition methods outlined in the YouTube clip supplied, we chose to trace onto blank paper via back lighting provided by a window. I modelled how to do this, emphasising how important it was to sketch every line and shadow, and not simply draw the outline of the person’s face. After the sketching stage I encouraged them to write down the qualities that they observed from the transposed image, and to add colour via pencils and pastel crayons.

After finishing the artworks, I encouraged them to write a message to their Finnish friends, in an effort to get to know them better. We used google translator to write our questions in Finnish.

After reflecting on the finished artworks the students observed that the personality traits a person has are the same no matter if the image is a photo, or a sketch. Also students noted that the transposed sketch intensified the emotions or feelings that the picture showed. For example, if a person looked “kind” from observing the photograph, the person looked even more so in the sketch. An interesting revelation for them.

Regards,
Jeremy Gudze 

1/2G Classroom Teacher
Bulli Public School

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The 2nd graders from Mäntykankaan koulun in Kokkola, Finland are making and sharing art with the 1st and 2nd graders from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia.

Artists from Australia make art from “Words that describe me”

2019, 8 years olds, 9 years old, Australia, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The students really enjoyed the first Dear You project. 

Firstly, we spoke about the word translation, and what it means to communicate verbally or visually over long distances. I showed the class a map of the world and showed them where Finland is, they were excited that our artworks will be travelling so far around the world. 

I showed the class some photographic portraits and discussed what the pictures are translating to a viewer. We got a little stuck on visual appearances, many of the responses were superficial, for example “tall, smiling, happy, sad”. I had to encourage them to look beyond the outward appearance and try to decipher what the person may be thinking. After this guidance some deeper thinking became apparent and the students commented that the people in the examples were “lonely, determined, excited, responsible”.

I then gave the sheet and asked them to write down “Words that describe me …”. I modelled a few examples on the board to assist with spelling. They first wrote down what words that they think about themselves, then I encouraged them to brainstorm, walk around the room and ask their peers what they think that they translate to the world around them.

We then spoke about photography and how we could translate these attributes into a photograph, we talked about using perspective, props, light and shade to communicate meaning to a viewer. We practised picking objects around the room (e.g. book, pencil, chair) to use as props, experimented with our body position to communicate a feeling (e.g. looking away from the camera, blocking our face with our hands, leaning into or away from the camera, etc).

I asked the class to prepare props and choose a site in which to have their picture taken. Once they were ready I took their photograph with the school’s digital camera. I invited them to either take the picture indoors or outdoors, I feel like this was a setback because the majority of the students outside choose to perform athletic tricks/moves/positions, rather than communicate an emotion or feeling like we had spoken about earlier. If I did this again I would ask them to create both an indoor picture and an outdoor picture. This strategy would produce improved results I feel.

Nell, choose to communicate “Sensitive”

Nell, choose to communicate “Sensitive”

I printed the photographs, the students cut them to size and glued them onto the sheets. I asked them to underline what single attribute of themselves they were attempting to translate to the viewer of the picture.

On the back of the sheet the students all wrote a short message to their “sister class” in Finland, “Hei”!

Regards,
Jeremy Gudze 

1/2G Classroom Teacher
Bulli Public School

Harvey, choose to communicate “Brave”

Harvey, choose to communicate “Brave”

The 2nd graders from Mäntykankaan koulun in Kokkola, Finland are making and sharing art with the 1st and 2nd graders from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia.

Do you have Jellyfish in Ireland?

2019, 3 years old, 4 years old, 5 years old, 6 years old, 7 years old, 8 years olds, 9 years old, 10 years old, 11 years old, AustraliaArlene TuckerComment
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After life had taken a hold of us all here in Australia with the colder weather upon us, two of the families finally managed to meet for our second session.

All were super excited to open the parcel from Ireland and see what our friends had sent. They were very impressed with the drawings but also with the information that they conveyed. They all started asking so many questions, which was great because that was exactly what today’s session was about!

After introducing different types of graphics and typography the group got to work on the question/s they wanted to ask. They all naturally began by drawing what their interests were and the question they wanted to ask their Irish friends came later in text form.

Due to the age range from 3 to 11 the questions varied from ‘Do you have Jellyfish in Ireland’, ‘Do you like swimming?’, ‘Do you like rain?’ and ‘Do you like monsters?’

Looking forward to the next session seeing what our friends have to say.

Amal Laala

The home schoolers in Geelong, Australia are making and sharing with the homeschoolers in Derreen, Ireland.

Artists from Australia gather for a day of making art!

2019, AustraliaArlene TuckerComment
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We began home schooling our 6 year old daughter last year and were thrown into a new area where we have bonded with some wonderful families here in Geelong, Australia. As an artist myself I had been thinking of doing workshops with a small group of the community and Dear You seemed like a great way to begin the journey.

 

I asked two other families to join us as a pilot (so we could all fit into my house) and we began. The kids were all excited to see each other so they had a run around and catch up - as did us mums – and then we gathered around the table. We began by discussing about ourselves and about what uniqueness means. Many of them wanted to get into the activity and were shy to discuss so after a short discussion we began drawing and each talking while we worked about our travels, the things we like and our body parts. They were all interested in learning more about Ireland, the other group and children. They were not sure exactly what to share but enjoyed the notion of someone far away sending them something.

 

Next session we will incorporate geography and speak about the country and area our friends are from. Also showing them what our friends have sent them will encourage them to share more about themselves as it all seems much more real. Looking forward to the next meet up and in getting something special in the mail.

Amal Laala

The home schoolers in Geelong, Australia are making and sharing with the homeschoolers in Derreen, Ireland.

The Monkeys and their epic stories

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Australia, Collective Art, Dear You Art Workshops, Dear You Workshop Leader, FinlandArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys did an amazing job working together to create their stories! They thought about the characters in the story, what the main idea of the story would be about, and then how the story would begin, progress, and then end.

Another great part of this Inspiring Stories project is that we first looked at the artworks from our friends in Australia to gain inspiration. So you could say, K/1HT had a helping hand and was an important part of this creative process! We inspire each other!

Thank you K/1HT for being such great friends to us! We love your artworks and hope you like ours as well!  Wishing you a great 2018!!

With love,
Arlene & The Monkeys

The Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with K/1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia. All artists are 5-6 years old.

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These are pictures The Monkeys drew as they listened to the story, The War of the Animals.

K/1HT on art

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

Hi Arlene and the Monkeys!

We really enjoyed your little movie where you answered all our questions. We have watched it a few times! Thank you for taking the time to make it for us!

We have sent an audio recording with our thoughts about your art works. We have some funny bits in there as well from our teacher who kept forgetting not to interrupt!!!

This will be our last project with you because we will finish our school year in 5 days and when we start our new school year at the end of January, we will be in different classes with different teachers. It's been great to have been able to share our art and our ideas. We will miss you all!

Keep up the great creative art works - we'll check out the website from time to time to see how you are all going.

All the best
From K/1HT xxx

The K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia are making and sharing art with the Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland. Both groups are 5-6 year old artists.

Searching and Finding with your new friends

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Finland, AustraliaArlene TuckerComment

The Monkeys and K/1HT have been getting to know each other since September. In the second project, The Art of Asking Questions, we made artworks that involved how word and text have a great affect on each other. 

The artwork from Australia was received and the Monkeys made an amazing video response!

K/1HT responded in written form!

The Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia. All artists are 5-6 years old.

"Our Nice Monkeys"

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Australia, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene Tucker1 Comment
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As usual, when I visit the Monkeys we start by reviewing what have made together so far to give context and understanding. This time, their memory continued to last year when we were making art with our friends in Mexico and United Arab Emirates! They recalled all the art projects we had made together. Amazed and heartfelt that they remembered all those details!

The November project, Weaving environments, is about putting the first two art projects received from our friends in Australia into a book. But what will the title of the book be? The first challenge of the day is to come up with a title together! So how will we do that? The Monkeys suggested we do rock paper scissors or listen to everybody.  We did a combination and took a vote! They thought this could be a fair way to proceed. 

SO many good ideas for the title to choose from! The possibilities were: 'Our Sweetheart', 'Our artwork', 'Our objects in the park', 'Our nice objects', 'Our nice Monkeys', 'Our nice friends in Australia', 'Our nice group', and 'Our nice toys'.

And the winner is...
Our nice Monkeys!!

Weaving was a new art technique for most of the Monkeys and they did a great job! They started to play with patterns and colors after they got the hang of the technique. Also, we talked about the symbolic aspect of weaving and the usage of recycled materials. I think our friends in Bulli can pick up a little on Finnish language from the papers we chose to weave.

Thank you and we hope you like our artwork!

My best,
Arlene and The Monkeys

The Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia. All artists are 5-6 years old.

“over” or “under”?!

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

Dear Monkeys and Arlene,

We really enjoyed doing this book cover activity but we did find it a little hard to remember whether to go “over” or “under”! It took some practice but we think we got there!

We did this project with a teacher intern who was with us for 3 weeks practising to be a teacher. She loves art and craft and is very artistic! Her name is Ms Harris.

She suggested that, in the little squares that were created between the woven strips, we should draw some little pictures about things that were important to us in our lives. 

We hope you like our book covers for you!

You'll be HEARING from us soon when we finish the next project!

Best wishes from us all in K/1HT. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

P.S. We’ll be answering all your wonderful questions soon! Keep an eye out for another letter from us!

The K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia are making and sharing art with the Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland. Both groups are 5-6 year old artists.

Are you silly? Great questions from the Monkeys!

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Australia, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, Pre-SchoolArlene Tucker3 Comments
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We had such a great time coming up with questions for our friends in Australia!  Before we got started we first looked at the self-portraits we received. They are so beautiful!  They also helped us guide what kind of questions to ask our new friends.

Making pictures to compliment words was a really good challenge for us.  And each picture has it's own history as well! For example, Pranav drew a picture of his family to compliment his question, "What color hair do you have?" Everybody in his picture has black hair because that's what is like in his family! I am guessing the purple figure is the artist. 

Let's turn this into a game! Below is what the artists drew. Can you think of what was their question? (some answers are below)

Adripto, "vegetables and fruits."
Pranav, "my family all have black hair."
Miro, "here is a boy who is taller than the house."
Aleksi, "cheese and carrots and watermelon."
Mikael, "there is a tree game."
Raphael, "this is a monster from Espoo."
Miska, "there are people running a race."
Vika, "this is a picture of me."
Pauli, "this is a picture of the game."
Umer, "there are 2 boys playing with space rocks."

We chose to use markers and colored pencils to make our artworks. The colors and medium make such a difference!

We hope you like our questions and we look forward to hearing your response!

My best,
Arlene & The Monkeys

The Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia. All artists are 5-6 years old.

Which country are you from?
Are you silly?
How long is your arm?
How do you choose your clothes?
What food do you like?
Which city are you from?
What do you look like?
How fast can you run?
What color are your eyes?
Do you like to play clash clans?
Are you crazy?
How healthy are you?
Are you sleepy?
How long is your hair?
How tall are you?

What? How? When? Why? Where? Let's make it!

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Australia, Dear You Art Workshops, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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We had a lot of fun with our latest project thinking up questions to ask our new friends from Finland. None of us has ever been to Finland - it seems a long way away right up there at the top of the world!

Before we started our project we talked a lot about the kinds of things we would like to know about boys and girls of our age from a different country. We looked at various examples of typography and graphic design. We also practiced writing our names on the computer in Word using different fonts, sizes, colours and features.

We tried to make the art works containing our questions look interesting by using different writing styles and trying our hand with special designs and graphics. We can’t wait to find out the answers to our questions. We’re also really excited  to read your questions for us!

Looking forward to our next big envelope!

All the best,
Everyone in K/1HT

The K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia are making and sharing art with the Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland. Both groups are 5-6 year old artists.

Monkeys make magic

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, Australia, FinlandArlene TuckerComment
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The Monkeys are very excited to have new friends from Australia!  We looked on the map to see where Australia is in relation to Finland. It's a looong ways away.  They already had a sense of that because one of their teachers is from Australia.  They are looking forward to making more friends from there!

We started off by talking about what it means to make a self-portrait.  We looked at one other and tried to be eachother's mirrors. As we were investigating ourselves, we were thinking about what part of us would we like to share and tell our new friends.

This was the first time using carbon transfers and they all did a great job! As they were understanding how the technique works, they were coming up with their own ways of drawing. At that time, the Monkeys were learning about space so a lot of the artists incorporated the moon and stars into their self-portrait.

Everybody got a chance to talk about their self-portrait.  Rafael said, "I have shabby hair and eyes."  Miro said, "I am playing a game on my tablet."  Adripto included a pictures of himself and his sister.  Alia said, "It's me and my little brother. We are looking at the shooting stars and there is the flag of Somalia."  Do these sound familiar to you?

We are very curious about you all and where you live!  The Monkeys would like to know, what do you see in Australia?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

My best,
Arlene & The Monkeys

The Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland are making and sharing art with K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia. All artists are 5-6 years old.

From single to double self portraits

2017, 5 years old, 6 years old, AustraliaArlene Tucker1 Comment
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We had fun on our first Dear You !

The kids had done the priming activities before the day, discussing identity and DNA etc with Barbara Turner, the classroom teacher. 

They had also spent some time preparing their "transfer paper" with 6B pencils so that when it came time to doing their self portraits, they were able to hit the ground running.

On the day we did two activities - the first was doing a self portrait with the eyes closed, and i did a demonstration of this on the whiteboard, which was a source of much hilarity - the resulting self portrait is pretty odd! 

Self portrait with eyes closed using hand to feel the face. Demonstration on whiteboard for K1HT class, for the Dear You Art Project with a class in Finland.

Self portrait with eyes closed using hand to feel the face. Demonstration on whiteboard for K1HT class, for the Dear You Art Project with a class in Finland.

Some of the kids were able to concentrate on this for a bit - many of them found it challenging to keep their eyes closed and focused, perhaps because of the proximity of all their friends - but at any rate it offered an alternative way of "seeing" the world through touch. 

For the second activity, I had found some double mirrors from the university - our visual arts students use them for a self-portraiture activity in first year. They are on a hinge, I think these mirrors are designed for hairdressing apprentices originally.

So I asked them to do a 'double self portrait'. There were a few tricky things about this - the mirrors were standing up at 90 degrees on the desk, and so their reflective surface was a bit low for them to see their own faces. So Barbara got them to take away their chairs and kneel down on the floor so they could actually see their own faces. 

The other tricky bit was just how to do a double self portrait. I didn't give them a demonstration - partly because I wanted to see what they would come up with - but in retrospect it might have been good to do so. There are some basic things about drawing your own face in a mirror which would have been worth pointing out - like observing specific things about the visual characteristics of one's own face, rather than just taking for granted that we all have two eyes, a nose and a mouth. You know, the usual "draw what you see, not what you think you see". 

So I reckon if we were to do something like this again, I'd focus more on the actual mechanics/principles of observational drawing, so we would generate more specific, less generic, faces.

However, some of the kids did do some really interesting double self portraits, strange doublings, where two faces sit side by side, or one next to the other, or one slightly at different scale but otherwise almost identical. 

We then got them to do their transfer print, using their double self portrait. This was a process involving a normal pencil - so that a harder tip could push the image through the 2 layers of paper onto the sheet that was receiving the image. 

The transfer prints came through successfully, a bit faint perhaps, but it worked. They have a nice low-fi feel to them I think.

Barbara had photocopied lines onto the back of the paper, so the students then wrote a letter to the Monkeys in Finland - they enjoyed this process - for some reason a lot of them want to write "Kind Regards" at the end of their letters - very formal!

After the class, Barbara and I (together with a couple of young artists)  experimented a bit with using crayon or pastel rather than 6B pencil as our transfer medium. This has advantages, as its much faster to cover the surface of the transfer paper with crayon, and the image transfers much more darkly to the final print. I reckon if we were to do this activity again, that's what we'd change. 

I think Barbara was going to post them to you in the day or so after the activity - so with any luck the Monkeys will receive our parcel soon!

All the best,
Lucas

The K1HT class from Bulli Public School in Bulli, Australia are making and sharing art with the Monkeys from Your School in Espoo, Finland. Both groups are 5-6 year old artists.