Seeing Things around Us. True Story. They really are. Seeing Things around Us Once, we decided to look outside the gymnasium and ...

Creative Experiences

Seeing Things around Us. True Story. They really are.
Seeing Things around Us
Once, we decided to look outside the gymnasium and see the variety of architecture-Colonial, Victorian, Conventional; and the Contemporary glass-walled buildings of our time.
May I suggest that you begin your class with a discussion of shapes around you; oval, rectangular, square, pyramidal, cylindrical, and how these shapes in the sky line affect our scenery and scenes- be aware of how differently each of us reacts to our surroundings.
More awareness! Of structures, textures and materials; of styles of architecture; of the living environment; a search for growing things; color, shape, and form of human, animal and plant life.
Intensify learning, feeling and enjoyment of the world we live in.

Judith’s Group—Average age 12 years—Year Seven
“The buildings seem to express a child’s creation made from building block. The domes of the Observatory give the impression of buildings seen in the future. The twisted and gnarled branches of the tree create the feeling of Andromeda chained to the rock. The roots of the trees look like giant claws reaching out awards one.”

Wendy’s Group
“I see wide wires that look like string expanding in different directions, interruption by factory stacks. I see cars going towards a huge bulge (Sydney Harbor Bridge). This bulge swallows them and they never return.  I see millions of colored squares which remind me of patterns that we draw, but they turn out to be roofs of houses. There is a tree extending to the sky and it has twisting stems that look like snakes.”

Marilyn’s Group
“The I.B.M. Buildings looks like a Japanese house. There is yellow dahlia opening like a ballerina in the dance. Signs jutting out like coat hangers. I see a ship which looks like a great white giant on a calm green sea—ferry boats are gliding silently."

Jeanette’s Group
“A crane; like a daddy-longlegs reaching over its prey. Ants on the ground remind me of rolling beads. A new building just going up looks as if it is made from matches. The Observatory looks like eggs in egg cup. An unfinished building looks like a honeycomb. The school is a sea serpent appearing on land to die. The wall without windows or doors is frightening. It has no face. The I.B.M. building reminds me of a curious madman. The rusty steel fence blocks us from the outer world.”

We did not confine these creative experiences to observation of architecture, but to many scenes in the area. We observed the skyline, contours of the terrain, hills steps, slopes of grassy areas, windows, roof-tops, doorways. The shape and rhythms of the street-people walking or standing idle, in conversation, at work. An accident-converging to the focal point, excitement, discord-drama-moods, atmosphere, character, subways, boxes, umbrellas, the wharves. 
We record our impressions of what we see around us-the patterns og people and the environment that co-exist. Extend the creative experience in as many ways as possible-natural and man-made. All odor-sweet, pungent, evil, unpleasant. The sensation of touch. Heat and cold-color-sky clouds and sun-weather. All sounds from the dry click of a leaf falling to the metallic whine of a jet plane.
We had many sessions in the space outside; the environment and the landscape became a source of ideas-we found many starting points for creative movement themes. Atmosphere, shapes, relationship were woven into movement fantasy during the lessons on the green slopes of “the hill” (Observation Hill). Students twisted their bodies into imaginary beings around protruding tree roots. Hollow shapes hid in the corrugations of massive tree trunks.

Find a precipitous slope-run, leap, roll-no obstacles-just free expansive energetic action. Struggle upward to the top of the hill. Twist, crawl, pull yourself along. Walk gently among the long grasses-climb and swing from the trees-watch the movement of the branches. Make flower chains and garland yourself-festoon your wrists, neck, head and ankles. Go to the sea. Feel the poetry of the water and breezes-create a movement study with sound, rocks and water. Use your body and parts of the body in different ways-imagine that they are your partner-Interpret their texture and form. Relax in a rock pool-move your fingers and toes like a sea creature-whirl across the sand- curl up among the rocks in shell formation.

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