Abbey Road Studios Buzzing with New Educational Initiatives
This week Athlone Art and Heritage’s Education Programme hit the ground running. Early on Tuesday morning first year Visual Communication students from Athlone Institute of Technology gathered Upstairs@studio5 to receive a brief grounded in actual art practice from lecturers Tara Cullen and Sheila Hough.
Currently the Artists’ studios at Abbey Road are individually numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4. Each student must come up with a design solution for one of the individual studio doors. The brief is deliberately open to allow students to express their creative vision and challenge them to experiment beyond their usual boundaries.
Resident artists Lesley Wingfield, Laurence O’ Neil and Ann McGuiness were on hand to have a talk with the students about their own visual practices and how this might inform the students approach. What medium they select is totally up to the individual student, however they must utilise the experimental techniques that they have used to date throughout their first year study in Athlone Institute of Technology.
On Wednesday afternoon, March 15th a group of talented transition year students from Athlone Community College participated in a workshop facilitated by resident artist Lesley Wingfield. Lesley gave the pupils a taste of her own work. Students were then treated to a screening of Lesley’s underwater film 'Come Away' inspired by W B Yeats Poem 'The Stolen Child' was the result of an innovative collaboration of dance and art that took place in 2011.
The transition year group sat down to do what is known as a ‘blind drawing’ self portrait. Blind drawing involves using only your artistic instincts to create a unique and usually abstract piece of art. In order to draw from seeing, we have to let go of any desire we you might have for the drawing to look like something. Lesley gave each student one sheet of paper and one coloured pencil, students closed their eyes and were guided to feel their faces with one hand and draw what they felt with the other. After ten minutes the students opened their eyes to discover where the guided technique had led them and what they had drawn.
As with all the workshops in Abbey Road, this weeks activities were designed to be interactive, engaging and fun.