Archives for category: Residency

If you passed the studio over the passed few days, chances are you would have seen Agy at work on the large table in front of the window!

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Pots and pans, chopsticks dipping coiled cloth and stretching them on frames – the experiments seems to be going on well. In fact if you want to understand Agy, what she is doing and why she is doing it, I highly recommend heading over to her blog where she talks about her first week at the Observatoire.

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As I walked in on Wednesday, bringing in a sewing machine, I was greeted by lovely scents and colours in the studio, brimming with activity!

And for the last picture, here is one of the flowers that Agy uses for her blue dye, Clitoria ternatea – traditionally used in Malay cooking for making Kelantan nasi kerabu and for Peranakan kueh salat. You’ll find these flowers dotted along Turf Club Road as you walk towards the school and studio. Feel free to pick a few for your own dying experiments!

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We are happy to welcome Agy for the month of October!

Agatha “Agy” is a textile artist who is passionate about building environmentally aware communities.  Her goal is to get people to reconnect with their clothes through techniques such as repair and transforming them into creative wearables (aka upcycling).  Currently she is exploring embroidery and natural dyeing techniques as a way of reconnecting with not only our clothes but with nature too.  She holds regular talks and Restyle Your Wardrobe is one of her signature workshops where she shares her knowledge of rethinking the way we view our garments.    Agatha can be found at Agy Textile Artist, and is a founding member of Connected Threads Asia and Fashion Revolution Singapore.

Agy is planning an experimentation of colours from nature (including our foodwaste!). The outcome might be something stitched up with all the samples of the experiments. And possibly even  a garment or upcycled garment from the experiments. If you want to learn from her, do sign up for her Dying workshop at the Artground on the 28th of October!

If you want to help her experiment, drop by the studio and bring her some material. Here is her wish list :

  • Yellow onion skins
  • Red onion skins
  • Avocado seeds and skins (clean of avocado flesh)
  • Red cabbage
  • Pomegranate rind
  • Coffee grounds
  • Pandan leaves

We will update you on her experiments soon!

 

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If you spend any time at all on “make your own” sites on the internet and/or have school-age children around you, you’ve heard about slime. This gooey paste-like blobby material that you can apparently make yourself – and has absolutely no purpose other than keep your hands busy while making your mind go “ewwww!”, “ooooh!”, “aaaah!” as you manipulate it, and then “yikes!” when it unexpectedly lands on your clothes or in your friends’ hair.

This is the material Tam had decided to explore during her residency – joined happily by Mish, who also spent time doodling, letter printing, recreating images, sounds and texts seen during their recent trip to Bali.

This slime exploration soon became the main focus of the time spent by the 2 artists in the space. The exploration took many forms – from experimenting with various recipes, to exploring new artistic uses for the medium. Much time was spent on the process, understanding the physics of the medium, rather than aiming for a specific aesthetic outcome.

One of the early, and exciting outcomes resulting from discovering the slime’s properties was a kind of “forest” created by letting slime drip on a prepared landscape.

One of the early examples, recorded by Tam:

 

The teachers were invited early on to observe the material, the process and get an understanding of the potential of the material, as well as understand how the children could be interacting in their environment.

Teachers gonna touch #slime #colour #teachers #experiment

A post shared by l'Observatoire (@observartoire) on

 

Eventually, throughout the month of July, the experiments became focused, as the artists tried different glues, different additions, and tried making art pieces from the resulting material. What Tam says: “When it dries, it becomes hard. The pattern is set. But we might still cut up the design to make something new from it”.

It seems that the potential of slime is unlimited.

 

When Nel walked into the studio pushing cartloads of drawings, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. We had been speaking about this installation for a while and I knew that Nel had a fondness for children’s drawings. I had also seen how he had filled one of his walls at home with some of his favorites. But I wan’t too sure about how he wanted to show his collection off.

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During the 2 weeks preceding the hanging of the pictures, we had many discussions ahead of anticipating how these drawings, collected through art and craft lessons, could be used to inspire even more children’s drawings. What I enjoyed most was Nel’s naïve enthusiasm about each of the drawings. As he was be sorting through his piles of drawings, he would suddenly call out: “Look at this one! Look at that detail in the corner”, “What do you think the he meant in this drawing?” or “Look at how she drew this elephant”. Strictly no judgement means that every single drawing that passes through Nel’s hands has a chance to be looked at again, and marvelled at.

We wondered if it would be possible to sort out which drawings had been made by boys and which by girls. We agreed that while we often can, we could also be wrong, and sometimes there is no way of knowing – as expected the stereotypes often work but are not foolproof. We could also easily detect the young artists from the older ones – but many in the middle left us confused too. Nel had stories for many of the drawings, reminiscing how they had been drawn or the stories that went with them. In the end, the pictures were sorted by categories, and hung up accordingly.

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They were hung on the walls, but also the ceilings, the door and the window!

And with that – we were ready for the visitors!

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We had prepared a booklet of challenges – in case walking into such a full room would leave the visitors intimidated and overwhelmed. There were details to look for, and specific drawings to decipher. Visitors were asked to look for their portrait from the wall, many of them finding the picture spot on!

The small visitors came from Blue House pre-school and then from La Petite Ecole, with their teachers. Some came after school, with their parents. Usually, they were awed by the pictures: “Oh look, even on the ceiling!”. It usually took a while for them to finally look at individual pictures, and finally to realise there was an order to how the pictures were placed. Some children took their drawings home, while others insisted on sticking theirs among the exhibition.

We had questions for them:

– “Who did the drawings?” -“Children! Because children can draw!”

-“How do you know it’s an elephant?” – “It’s got a trunk!” -“And this one?” -“It’s a mouse, with a sock in front”.

-“Oh look, they are all tigers here, and fish on the ceiling”.

Adult visitors came too, curious to see children’s pictures and ready to discuss. The main question was: How do you draw like a child?

We were ready to discuss, with my own Picasso/child drawing installation for taller people to engage with. We collected many “children’s drawings” from adult visitors and many stories / memories from parents reminiscing about their own children’s drawing period.

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It was an interesting exhibition that seemed to get the public engaged in different ways. And then, we asked visitors how many pictures they estimated were pasted in the room and how many were in the box. Answered varied widely, depending on the age of the person answering – from 100 to 100 millions! The actual answer?

There were 2261 pieces pasted in the studio.

There were 8000 pieces in the box (estimate).

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Did you get the number right? Come claim your gift! (A children’s drawing).

And don’t forget to check Nel’s Instagram as nelysl and do checkout our hashtag #manymanyanyhowanyhow to see all the pictures!

 

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 idesjeux@mac.com (Curator)  And Nel – 9645 9621 or by email MrNelYSL@gmail.com (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.

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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!