When we undertake an activity for the sheer pleasure of engagement, then the results we get are un-measurable.
With those profound words, I take you to view some pictures;
The Book Club I facilitate at Think Box library, is always looking for things to do differently.
Last year we visited a Printing Press and had a collection of articles/ drawings by the club members published into a book.
This year I really wanted to showcase how illustration and visual images,,can inspire story creation and vice-versa. The options were to interview illustrators, that is, have someone talk about book illustrations or to take them to an Art Gallery to just experience Art in its real sense. This could inspire the children we thought (Bhakti Shah of Think Box is a great support and in fact drives many of these activities).
Mails flew back and forth as we tried to find an Art Gallery for kids, that would support us, as we were looking at taking 11 really enthusiastic children on a trip to view a Art Gallery/Shop...the Paintings/ Art work had to survive that, and of course the management must be supportive of such lateral thinking.
Did we find one?!!
Cruising down 100 feet road I just parked my car and entered an Art Shop/ Gallery which really looked vibrant from outside. Streisands Art it said. I was hesitant to ask permission. The Shop was a visual treat, at first glance i could see that. Every inch covered with paintings, mostly oil.
Then came Leda !!
A Volunteer at Streisand, she was a delight and went on to explain how Streisands supports such activities and awareness building with children, was also a platform for upcoming artists, and was providing art at an affordable price. She also explained their social angle, where they provide training and personal development for underprivileged through their foundation.
11 excited children visited Streisands on February 17th. It appeared as if they were in a magic cave, they oohed and aahed over the paintings. Some realistic, some abstract. Yet what was fascinating to watch was that the children had great questions to ask, right from how do you conserve to what is the cost of the paintings!
Leda was simply superb, as she clearly explained different styles, modern, impressionist, real, contemporary, and abstract. She showed a reproduction of Van Gogh's sunflower; had children touch and feel the texture of the paintings, some smooth, some rough, depending on how the paint had been used. She showed a reproduction of Raja Ravi Varma's painting, and many more.
(The Streisands Art catalogue can be viewed here. Streisand is on 100 feet road, just opposite Sony Shop)
The Book Club Members just soaked it up. I followed this up by asking them to choose a painting and reproduce it, as well as they could. The task remaining for them is to come back for next month's book club with a Story or some thoughts about the picture they had chosen.
Absolutely fantastic experience!!
Waiting to read their stories...