Archives for category: Education

It’s a blessing to be hosted by a pre-school! So for a few weeks, l’Observatoire has been collaborating with children to figure out what might be the interesting and exciting questions to ask about rubber trees and rubber seeds.

Artist Isabelle Desjeux has been sharing some of the pods collected around Singapore, and the students are sharing their thoughts… the result is a classroom environment called “HEVEALOGY”. Step right in!

Poster Observatoire.jpg

IMG_3521A Children’s Drawing exhibition by Nel Lim at L’Observatoire @ Blue House

13th May till 2nd June, 2017.

Please note: Exhibition has been extended till the Friday 2nd of June.

If you plan on visiting, please make an appointment with either of us:

Isabelle – 92734991 or by email (Curator)  And Nel – 9645 9621 or by email (Artist)

For this exhibition, artist Nel Lim, who teaches Arts and Craft, has pasted a large part of his children’s drawings collection on the walls, the ceiling, the windows!
The exhibition is interactive and there is a space for the children to draw, inspired by the drawings. There are also a number of challenges offered to the children, to encourage them and start them looking carefully at all the drawings (e.g. find the details, “what do you think this drawing represents?” “How many categories of drawings do you count?”, “How many pictures do you think are in the space?”…). There is also a challenge for adults, as we try to get educators/parents/artists to think about the role of free drawing in children’s expression. Finally, both Nel, the artist and myself (as the curator), would be most happy to engage in a discussion about children’s drawings on any level.
It would be our great pleasure to see you AND THE CHILDREN come and visit!
Although we try to open every day from 10:30 till 4:30 pm, we are flexible on the hours (we can be there earlier!), and will be happy to take you around the space – do give us a call to arrange a time, or by email to Nel and/or myself (See contact above)
Due to the size of the space, we recommend that group no larger than 15 children visit at a time. It is nicer if you give the children time to explore and draw at their own leisure, and for this, you should plan 20 to 30 minutes for a visit.

On Friday 31st of March, Madhvi gave a presentation of her work to the teachers, followed by a demonstrations of the light and Ceramics experiments we have been conducting, and then led a workshop with clay in the Atelier. Children were nowhere to be seen, as this was a day for the teachers to get in touch with their inner child and resource themselves.

During her talk, Madhvi explained how she started to learn about ceramics in India, in the humblest place, and where she gets her inspiration from.

Then we stepped into the studio. Madhvi demonstrated how adding light to a sculpture can change the focus towards the shadow rather than the object. And how moving light re-creates the effect of city on a building-like ceramic sculpture.


Finally, we went down to the atelier, where the teachers sat on the little chairs, covered their eyes, and engaged in the workshop, making a pot with a lump of clay… in a different way.

We hope the teachers were inspired and that this will trickle down to the classrooms sooner or later!

L'Obs portraits small

From left to right: Richard Kearns, Weixin Chong and Isabelle Desjeux



Introducing: Richard Kearns and Weixin Chong!

Well, Richard doesn’t need an introduction, as he was already artist in residence early last year. But let us remind you that he is a printmaker (MA Printmaking (Distinction), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, 2013), a photographer, involved in a variety of projects. He will be back in the studio for more creative printmaking, more participatory artwork, among others. And Richard will be in charge of the Drawing Classes for the younger ones (currently Mondays and Tuesdays). Do check his website here.

Weixin is also a printmaker, of another kind! Having recently completed her MA in Printmaking (Royal Academy of Arts, London , 2014), Weixin in back in her native Singapore, and already involved in a number of projects using a variety of media. Weixin will be in charge of the older students, drawing (and more!) on Saturday morning. Do check her website here.

As for myself, I will continue to splash on Mondays and Thursdays for the ArtScience classes, as well as on Wednesdays for the Art and Craft Class.

We will be introducing a number of other artists who will be in the studio for shorter times – in time, we are looking forward to reviving the Tinkering Sundays, on the first Sundays of the Month. As usual, make sure you get the information first by liking our page on Facebook.

And do drop by to say hello!

Our beautiful view outside the studio, a perfect set-up to place our home-made cameras. Below, picture captured by on of the students.

Our beautiful view outside the studio, a perfect set-up to place our home-made cameras. Below, picture captured by one of the students

If you haven’t yet booked you place for the camps this summer, head over to the PinHole Camp page! There are a still a few spots left in both weeks…

Week 1 : 23 – 27 June 2014, 9:30am-12:30pm

Week 2: 7 – 11 July 2014, 9:30am-12:30pm

Learn to make your own camera, the basics of dark room, develop your own pictures and this will set you up for a summer full of investigations. We promise the kids won’t be bored for the rest of the summer once they’ve attended this week-long hands-on course! You can even buy the material to set up your own dark room on the spot at the end of the camp.

Where: l’Observatoire, Blue House International School, 2 Turf Club Road, Singapore (287988)

Who: For kids 7 to 17 years old…

How much: $350 includes all material. Add $50 if you are not yet a Blue House Member.

Register here


Contact me




June 2012 ; June 2013

June 2012 ; June 2013

In June last year, the walls were being painted, some plugs being fitted. Tables made their way in, as well as some high tech and much low tech. One year on, it is time to reflect on the journey so far.

The plants have grown and are now hiding the fish, giving them, hopefully, all the privacy they need to make new babies… something we’ll need to follow up on.

The year has gone by to the rhythm of regular drawing classes (now being documented on the  Isadora’s Workshop’s blog) and crazy week-long workshop for kids of all ages (from book-making to exploring weeds, creepy crawlies and learning to make knots, we’re moving to stop-motion this summer).

Being at the Blue House also means that I had some “scientist-in-residence” calls of duty from the 3 to 5 year-olds in the Blue House International School below (asking questions ranging from tadpoles, to space, water, bending metal and others in between).

Finally, we’ve also started the Tinkering Sundays with the help of the community (Blue House parents and artists).

Let’s hope the year to come brings as much joy to all who step into l’Observatoire as it has this year. And if you’d like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you. Just leave a message below, or better still, come and visit.

How would you make a sculpture? Often, we imagine using stone, wood, metal, or other solids, and chipping away at them in order to make a figure of some sort. But what happens when we experiment with other materials? Water, for example, is common in our everyday lives and used for basic needs. Last Sunday, Isabelle invited us – a bunch of eager kids, parents, and myself – to look at it from a different perspective.

The session was opened by Ila’s performance. Projected onto a wall in a darkened area of the studio, we saw strange and surreal patterns appear from the simple motions of swishing and mixing water with other substances. Needless to say, after the performance the kids were excited to create their very own water sculptures.

Several stations were set up – in some, children observed the different magnifications in different transparent containers filled with water. In others they attempted to make colours move from one container to another using thin tubes, pipettes and food colouring. And of course, they were assisted by Ila in making their very own projections. Some interesting discoveries were made – air bubbles can ruin an experiment, a mixture of every colour makes brown rather than rainbow, and jelly babies glow in the dark!
The kids also attempted to make their very own ice slush– each one got their own ziplock pack containing water, and these were all placed in a container with ice and rock salt. Fifteen minutes later, some parts of the water had crystallised, although none of the desired slush was produced. Then again, as per the Observatoire’s philosophy, failure is an essential part of any process – as long as patience and grit follow… so the kids were sent home with bags of distilled water to try again!
The morning ended with an outdoor session of photographing sprays of water thrown into the air. Again, it was difficult to capture exactly what we wanted – but the in the few successful shots that were captured we could see, perfectly carved into abstract wobbling patterns, our very own real, ephemeral water sculptures. As is the nature of water itself, the discoveries made that afternoon were exciting and temporary, shape shifting and fascinatingly simple.

This post is written by guest blogger Meerabelle Jesuthasan, who attended the workshop as observer and photographer. 

Photography by Meerabelle Jesuthasan © June 2013. Please contact us if you’d like to use any photographs.

It was an amazing week of running after bugs, understanding what makes insects special, discovering new types of insects… and project making! 10 students aged 6 to 11 took over the Observatoire and spent a week familiarizing themselves with the small insects. We were lucky enough to have the support of Gladys, a gap-year student very keen on environment issues. Gladys volunteers at a number of places from NUS to Coastal Clean-ups and is keen to help bring people closer to the environment and science issues in general. We also had the visit of Sean Yap, another energetic gap-year student keen on all sorts of insects but more specifically involved in a ladybug-census project. He came to talk about these insects with the students and walk outside with us. This led to a very informal and fruitful morning as the students watched ladybugs devour aphids LIVE. Nature is not all cute!

Some of the time spent inside was devoted to drawing, but more students were keen on hands-on projects, so some made insect-like drawing robots or an electric questionnaire, a chance to find out more facts about the small creatures.

On the Friday, we had a small exhibition and students from the Senior Kindergarden of the Blue House International School eagerly came to see what the Creepy Crawlies camp had to offer. It was a great moment to be able to share the work from the week with an eager group of smaller public.

Much of the work done during this week will inform the series of Insect workshops planned at the Lycée Français de Singapour later in June.

Now if you’ve missed this camp, it will run again on the first week of July, see detailed info here. Make sure to sign-up early!

Chasing the Weeds around Blue House

Chasing the Weeds around Blue House

Weed camp done! It was a week of walking around, map-making, discovery with the loupe, and microscopes. It was a week of friendships and sharing info. We did drawing, identifying of plants, we improved our camera phones to take macro pictures, we made seed sculptures that will melt in the rain to grow special plants. Best of all, parents got a chance to learn a bit too. Do check out the photo album on Facebook. And if you were one of the happy campers, look out for the info coming your way soon with lots of added info to go and explore more weed-infested areas, whether in Singapore or anywhere else.

Next camp? Let’s make books. in May. Do click the “Participate” button to learn more and check about camps, workshops and drawing classes, and connect on Facebook to make sure you are the first informed of any new events, and for added info about nature, science and art.

Blowing seeds


Checking microscope images on the big screen

Picking a dainty little flower. Would you have noticed it?
Picking a dainty little flower. Would you have noticed it?

Seeds under cover and DM500 microscope.

Seeds under cover and DM500 microscope.

We are excited to announce that Leica is sponsoring the microscopes for the weed project. First, there was the “Weed Walk” at the Singapore Art Museum (happening this week), and then, Leica agreed to to lend us the 5 microscopes – DM500 for the whole duration of the weed camp next week!

There are still a few places left, so if your child enjoys spending time outside, asking lots of questions about what they see and finding out answers by themselves, loves using the microscope, and  feels like drawing weeds on the wallsign them up!

Leica Logo_300dpi