We very strongly believe that art is a very important part of education. It provides for a strong foundation for the child. Art, I believe, is what provides the connect between the body and the soul. Colours, crafts, working with hands tends to relax the body and therefore children grow up as relaxed, calm and mature adults.

We have done a few workshops in art. We did one in February 2017 titled Kalpana – art, creativity and imagination. This was facilitated by Mr Gautam Bharti. Gautam is a man of many hues and had much variety to offer. So, we had:

  1. Nature art, where the children created art simply using whatever they could find in nature – leaves, flowers, wheat stems, etc.
  2. Newspaper art, where children created caps of various styles – Nehru cap, nurse cap, the king’s crown. And they refused to put away their crown. They could be seen anywhere in the village wearing their caps.
  3. Shadow art – This is an art form which uses the outline of any object, body which is then stuck on to a wall. Using this outline, the shadow of the object / body is painted on the wall. Using this art form, we painted the walls of the local school and the village temple.
  4. Storytelling – The children also made a story collectively. Since man eater leopards had been roaming the region at that time, the story had to be about a leopard. They then also made art to depict their story. So the story had text and pictures to depict the text.
  5. Colour therapy – Gautam also organised an exercise in colour therapy. The ultimate result of the colour therapy was a chart paper with myriad colours. What a riot of colours it was!
  6. Creative Art – The children were asked to draw something that had never been seen before, something that was ‘weird’. This art form gives wings to the children. It lets them fly into the world of fantasy and fantasy is what gives birth to innovation – for instance, science fiction of the 80s is now reality.

Pictures of this workshop can be viewed on the following links:

Nature Art – https://goo.gl/photos/JDs6NczyFVqTQkRu6

Newspaper Arthttps://goo.gl/photos/nSzdoZrwCrnAYRtF9

Shadow Art – https://goo.gl/photos/G7RVkRwa5uh5MFESA; https://goo.gl/photos/A7JJBiCzGHY6z7yb6

Storytellinghttps://goo.gl/photos/iAmgiF66HYJdSF9n8

Colour therapyhttps://goo.gl/photos/m21oqfy39M9sNcbe8

Creative Arthttps://goo.gl/photos/JoWAgEwFwJm5hm3y7

Exhibition and Common pictureshttps://goo.gl/photos/ynnE1McFKa9Yrzzt8

 

We did another workshop on art in the month of July, which was facilitated by Mr Ramawtar Singh, who is a multifaceted man. He is an artist, wildlife lover, bird watcher, singer, poet, etc. The children did the following activities during the workshop:

  1. Preparing the paper mache dough – This is a long drawn process and takes about 3 days.
  2. Making objects out of the prepared dough – face masks, birds, etc.
  3. Tie and dye method of painting fabric – These colourful fabrics were then used as a cover for the diaries that the children handstitched. Many children also painted their white shirts into bright colours.
  4. Hand stitched diaries.
  5. Story telling – the children were informed of various models in which a story could be narrated.  

Finally, an exhibition was organized where the children proudly showcased their work to their parents. At the exhibition, Mr Ramawtar Singh also spoke about the virtues of learning in a free environment.

Pictures of this workshop can be viewed on the following links:

Tie & Dye – https://goo.gl/photos/Rdcwxpv3Rd1jmaRF7

Handmade diaries – https://goo.gl/photos/ePTc1z2Md9CRJon26

Paper bags – https://goo.gl/photos/XLrEbzbvgtxrjPbk7

Paper mache – https://goo.gl/photos/UHvXSFBRWkMMLpjL7

Exhibition – https://goo.gl/photos/3xDAbc8Uc7uE5HL19

 

Later, we did a workshop on floor and wall painting, which was conducted by Mr Ravi Dwivedi, a student of the esteemed Shantiniketan. We used natural colours made of multani mitti, geru mitti, kharia chalk powder, coal to make beautiful paintings, which now adorn the walls of our learning centre.

Pictures of this workshop can be viewed on the following link:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/aqrX9ExDL7FClBqt1

 

Learnings at both the photography and the art workshops were used well by the children in executing the Swachh Agar Mission, the cleanliness drive in the village. As mentioned above, photographs of waste dumps and also a clean village (along with slogans) were pasted at various points in the village.

Besides the 2 workshops, children engage in various forms of art on a daily basis. They make roses and various other things out of paper, they love to colour their shirts using tie and dye method, they make hand stitched diaries. We are also blessed to have a stream of volunteers coming from across the world to work with the children. So, Katherine (better known as Maia) worked with the children and created art using plastic bottles. She also designed an open space simply using materials from our junkyard. With the help of Ms Carmen Kummer, a volunteer from Switzerland, children have been painting cards using water colour. Another volunteer, Kelly Diggle, helped the children make bracelets, and also helped the children do some photography.