This Is How We Follow Our Nose

Open Space workshops and exhibition

During Wandsworth Arts Festival 2014 groups of young people from Ashcroft Technology Academy, Griffin Primary School and Ernest Bevin College took part in workshops led by Jo Blaker (Visual Communication) and assistant Alex Duncan (Sculpture).

Jo’s workshop encouraged the young people to explore and document an environment, and make drawings and objects in response to what they had seen. Each day began with a visit to Battersea Park. The young people were invited to ‘follow their nose’, instinctively searching out spaces and items within the park that they found intriguing. During the visit everyone made drawings in order to remember what they had seen.

When the group came back in the gallery space, Jo encouraged everyone to experiment, and make new pieces based on the drawings they had brought back from the park. It was important that these new pieces reflected some of the more intangible experiences they had had – the way a tree or fountain moved or how the gravel felt under their feet. Some students tried making drawings that conveyed the growth of a leaf or the weight of a bucket. Finally, the young people worked quickly and intuitively to make three-dimensional pieces that conveyed something about a sensation, movement or object they experienced in the park.