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Day 3 - Text - Arial Views

Today was inspired by my recent trip to the States and the images (please see some photos and videos attached) from the window seat.  I wished I could have taken more, but on my return my camera had run out of battery.  However, the beautiful images from the window of a low flying, very small propellered plane remain in my memory: precisely drawn farmers fields, crystal blue squares of swimming pools, extensive tree masses, a large, deep quarry pit.  I wished to take these views back to the children to incite further exploration of perspective.  Today was also inspired by a play day between our team of artists, Emma, Anna, Siobhan and myself, which took place just before the project started.  Emma introduced us to the concept of a cranky (please see video clip and photo attached).  The cranky is a moving background on rollers, made of paper.


Today was very quiet, and I began working with a young girl of 4years.  I introduced her to our alternative universe, showing her some of the videos made from the weeks before.  She then chose one of the former patient`s planets as a place to visit.  She created her interpretation of the arial view of this on the cranky paper, using high quality art markers, sticky shapes, and glitter paint.  A 14 year old girl joined us, and followed the same process, choosing the Star-ry Planet.  A mother and her 20 month boy also joined the group.  The 14 year old was happy to share her piece of paper on which the toddler added his mark.  

One of the challenges while working in hospital in a play room setting is the extreme variation in age groups.  The teenager today was happy enough to share with the younger ones at intervals, although I could sense a bit of awkwardness.  Once the younger 4 year old had finished her piece, the 14 year old took on the role of `cameraman` and was excited by this.  We are using very small camera phone sized camera called Vado`s for this project which are very accessible by young people and thought of as `cool` by teenagers.  Unfortuantely, we missed our opportunity to film as the little girl launched into her story, which I thought was a rehearsal, but ended up being the real thing.  She was not interested in sharing the story again, and I was not going to push her.  She left then to have a break from the art, and to play at something else in the playroom.  It was a little disappointing for the teenager, as she was helping to direct the setting up of the shoot and looking forward to filming, but did not want to speak on film, nor use her own backdrop.  This stands as a reminder that when working with pre-schoolers, every second counts!  And to not wait until the next chance to film/record/take a photo as the opportunity could be lost.  It is very much a lesson to being in the `now`.

The teenager had to return to her room then for a procedure, but contributed to the online journal on Ait-Eile later in the day.

I worked with another young girl in the afternoon, with whom we made a backdrop, puppet, and video of the puppet flying over the landscape and commenting on what she saw. Please see video and photos attached.

I am unable to work in the hospital play room for the next two weeks, as the hospital play specialist is away. However, I am setting up an arts activity in the staff room which I will visit and maintain and evolve over the next few weeks.  (To be continued)

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