Dear You Art Project

Mail Art + Pen Friends = Dear You Art Project

Unique You

The artists from Ireland creatively show their friends in Australia just how unique they are!

Mixed age group, 2019, IrelandArlene TuckerComment

We gathered one morning with our group, 6 children and 3 of the parents who have been growing together for the past 11 years. Over the years our process of learning, living in close proximity, friendships and communing has been changing and shaping the way we all learn and enjoy sharing our time. We have been inspired throughout the years by the aliveness of each of the children here and their self directed learning.

From that place we met in the spirit of connecting with this group of homeschoolers in Australia, all the children were curious and excited. The artistic part of the project was free and enjoyable, with no expectations or final outcomes, just a beginning of connecting and sharing, and who knows how this unfolds… Coming together individually with a communal vision seemed to have a playful tone that stayed throughout the session.

On the first proposal they were invited to explore the idea of uniqueness and draw a self portrait using a graphite transfer technique. We noticed the importance of setting some ground principles of respect and care, and non-judgemental comments on each other’s work. We talked about Perseus paradox and that made us move from the physical differences to more metaphysical concepts. Due to the nature of our group, being small numbers and not in a classroom environment, our conversations were very informal. But they were also very focused on their work. Some struggled with the instructions as wanting to express themselves more freely. They were all able to create a piece that said something about themselves and their uniqueness and they were enthusiastic about sharing it with someone else.  Also eager to receive the artworks from the other kids in Australia. I think they were all happy to participate in creating connexions through art.

Marta, Carol & Gabrielle

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

Our first mail art exchange!

2017, 10 years old, 3rd Grade, 9 years old, China, United KingdomArlene Tucker1 Comment

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!

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.

Moonstone Full Moons + Your School Tigers = MoonTigers!

2017, 5 years old, 4 years old, Dear You Art Workshops, Finland, USAArlene Tucker2 Comments

Dear Tigers,

We hope you will enjoy our collective contributions. Enclosed are our portraits along with our handmade transfer (carbon) paper. Feel free to separate them from our portraits and reuse them in your transfer explorations. It was fun (and messy) creating transfer paper.

While we worked on our portraits we thought about shadows and became shadow catchers, trying to capture illusive shadows casted by flashlight and lamp. Shadows have no eyes and they do not speak. Sometimes they grow, other times they bend under doorways and hide in dark corners. Our transfer paper making inspired us to take two large collaborative pieces of art and make a huge transfer portrait/piece, representing our unique and collective selves. Like unique individuals, groups are often unique assemblages. We are excited to art pal with you. We are calling our unique collective: MoonTigers.

Paint, pencil, charcoal, graphite and pastel are the featured materials in this piece along with our imagination (an essential). We applied our paint with squirt bottles and casted shadows with brayers, tiny little rollers. They really helped us spread the darkness. This large piece was then placed onto (above) for transferring. Here are our portrait samples (below).

We look forward to making art with you!

Moonstone Full Moons + Johnny Buckley

Moonstone Full Moons, 4-5 year olds from Moonstone Preschool in Philadelphia, PA, USA, are making and sharing art with the Tigers, 4-5 year olds from Your School in Espoo, Finland.