The project at North Walney has been wonderfully vibrant and noisy so far! Inspired by Schwitters use of found and ‘rescued’ materials, we have been making our own collages. We’ve worked on a postcard scale using leaves and materials brought in from the woodland, and paper based materials such as newspapers and old bus tickets. ‘Natural’ versus ‘Human made’ has been a consistent theme, and was very apparent in our larger collages, which mixed shells, feathers and pine cones, with bottle tops, plastic cutlery, and bits of old printer cartridges!
These A2 sized creations were ephemeral works. Children enjoyed placing their objects in pleasing compositions and photographing them before dismantling them.
We have taken the opportunity to explore the environment around school with fresh eyes and ears, looking at the ‘collages’ or juxtapositions of materials that occur accidentally in the school playground. This has led on nicely to an exploration of sound, using Schwitters sound poem ‘The Ursonate’ as a starting point. We recorded the sounds we could hear around the school and turned them into symbols and words with a view to creating our own Ursonate style pieces later on. We have also made collage style sound compositions with musical scores, themselves made of paper based collage materials.
Next steps are to get beyond the school gates seeking further inspiration and material from the local area, focussing on the beach. This will enable interesting comparisons to be made when we go to Langdale valley, and the Merz barn where Schwitters did his final work. Deep in the woods, under shadow of the mountains, the barn sits in a very different environment to the school with it’s windswept beaches and distant horizons. I wonder what creativity this will inspire!
Below Right: Visual Score piece using cut-outs as symbols for the duration and volume within a 10 second sequence, using particular sounds recorded by the boys and girls in school:
Artist and Outdoor Learning Specialist,
North Walney Artspace