Artist Michiko Fujii reveals her top 5 creative moments in the Clore
1. November’s Mini Art Club (http://www.flickr.com/photos/manchester_city_galleries/sets/72157637445192675) was a real experiment as each session we invited up to 50 under 5s and their adults to play in the space. It was fantastic to witness the funny ways families interacted with objects, ribbons and furniture. Phoebe and her mum Philippa were busily playing with their friends, colour sorting objects from the shelf. Phoebe began to do some cooking, baking and washing up, using the shelf unit as an oven and general kitchen area. Phoebe spent a good ten minutes making dinner for her mum and friends, mixing ingredients, baking cakes and serving up different dishes. She then began to stack some blue teapots on top of other objects. Philippa asked “Ooh, what are we cooking now Phoebe?” Phoebe turned to her mum and replied, “Oh Mum, I’m not cooking silly. It’s a sculpture!”
2. Frederick and his mum Louise have been coming to Mini Art Club for a few years now. It is always interesting to watch them together as they make such creative connections between artworks, materials and spaces. Frederick spotted a rainbow in one of the Grayson Perry tapestries, so he worked with Louise to sort objects into the colours of the rainbow in front of the artwork. This interest in rainbows and patterns continued throughout the session and I watched this in the Clore Art Studio as Frederick hunted for objects to match all the different colours in the rainbow. I asked Frederick why he was wearing a yellow rubber glove as he composed and arranged his objects. He told me, “You have to wear the glove to make art. It’s a special sculpture glove.” I turned to his mum who smiled and waved her gloved hand. “I’m wearing mine too. I couldn’t join in unless I wore one as well!”
3. Working in the Clore one weekend, I watched a family as they worked together to build a super-city for ducks, complete with a linking flyover and an HQ for the ‘boss’. This family also got into a rather interesting discussion about the placing of objects, sorting of colours and whether the duck placed at the top of the tower really had more power just because he was higher up!
4. As messy as some of our sessions can be, there is an inner tidy person in me, screaming to coming out! This one certainly appeals to my inner tidy self. At the end of one of our half-term workshops Jess and I came upstairs to find a family with older children busily colour-sorting objects onto four white chairs. There’s certainly something aesthetically pleasing about this composition of coloured objects.
5. Along with all this super-creative, thoughtful and meaningful play, nothing makes me chuckle more than watching one child after another, talking, crawling or walking with a basket on their head!