Today's activities were carried out in 2 Parts
Part 1 : Combined Activities with VSN 1K (Stellah) + VSN 1L
Part 2: Outdoor Activity with VSN 1L
Here's the breakdown of Part 1
Activity 1 : Womb
This warm up activity meditates on the text from the book Wabi-sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers by Leonard Koren , which was read out to the combined class (please see 'Extension Activity to Womb')
Based on the idea of making in Term 2, the cling foil will be wrapped around the perimeter of the classroom, or now, two classrooms, using pillars and existing classroom tables for support to envelope the space.
The idea of making and then breaking is also evident in this activity, which is moulded along the lines of wabi-sabi, to appreciate the experience of imperfection and find beauty in the gestures.
I imagined after it's done, it would be quite massive, and to get into the classroom cocoon, they would have to climb in, or create a hole for everyone to pass through to get to their belongings.
Here’s a video documentation of the activity.
p/s: Notice David Portwood from VSN 1K wade (as if swimming) between the constructed environment in 1:28 onwards. Excellent!
p/s: Spot Hsin from VSN 1L enter the cocoon to continue ‘spinning the web’
Extension Activity to 'Womb'
Learners settled into the ‘womb’ by climbing/ crawling/ making a hole by cutting through the film…
This act of going into the ‘womb’ , or “crawling-in entrance” is to symbolize the Japanese teahouse design that has low entrances(typical of wabi-sabi spaces) that require each participant to lower their head in humility before entering- an understated but ‘very real discipline’
We then had a discussion:
Q. What did you just create?
Q. What is the significance of enveloping the space?
Q. What are the keywords?
Next, Handouts with excerpts from the book, Wabi Sabi for Artists Designers, Poets and Philosophers by Leonard Koren, printed on different types of papers (brown paper, tracing paper, graph paper…) were given out to each student.
We also had another discussion:
Q. Why were the handouts printed in this way?
Q. Did you notice the difference between yours and your friends'?
Part 1 Debrief
I read out a text (not in handouts) slowly and clearly to combined class to set the mood, as learners closed eyes to reflect and focus on the words :
"Things wabi-sabi are usually small and compact, quiet and inward-oriented.
They beckon: get close, touch, relate. They inspire a reduction of the psychic distance between one thing and another thing; between people and things...
Places wabi-sabi are tranquil and calming, enveloping and womb-like.
. . . Things wabi-sabi easily coexist with the rest of their environment."
As students reflected on the words, pressed flowering weeds given out to class as RUBBISH FAMZINE #04* was brought into the picture
ACTIVITY 2 : EARTH
As learners reflected on the text and the exercise, they created a humble object.
A ball of stoneware clay* was distributed to each learner, which they then mixed grog / soil from around LASALLE with it.
We discussed about properties/qualities of clay, eg. how grey is the clay, what kind of clay is it, etc...
*stoneware clay we used today is recycled** Light Buff Stoneware Clay manufactured in Australia
**recycled clay is dried scrap clay that has been soaked in water again for use. Read more about the process here.
Note: I fired and glazed the works and returned them on Wk 15. Please see images here