There is SO much online at the moment, and it can be pretty overwhelming. Here are a few suggestions of things with a loose 'visual art' slant that have stood out for me over the past three months. I hope you enjoy some of them and that they inspire you to get making. I'd also love to know – what's stood out for you?
Has anyone been watching Grayson's Art Club on Channel 4? If you haven't then all the episodes are free to watch now on All 4 and I can heartily recommend them! Grayson Perry is such a good communicator, and each episode (which focuses on a different theme, ie: home/animals) is packed with inspiration, conversation and artworks sent in by REAL PEOPLE. You also get to meet Grayson's wife, psychotherapist and writer Philippa Perry and their lovely cat Kevin. It's been my favourite television programme over lockdown. It reminds me (and I do need reminding, now and then) how and why art is important in difficult times and what it can do to help us.
In my 'normal' life, I spend a lot of time devising workshops for young people, and two people that I always check out for ideas are Hervé Tullet and Paula Briggs of Access Art.
You can find lots of interesting stuff on Hervé's website here and also on Instagram at @hervetullet and @expo_ideale_herve_tullet. My favourites at the moment are his BOREDOMDOMDOM videos (it's good to be reminded that boredom can be a creative stimulus) and his mini exhibitions at home. Occasionally he does live workshops through Zoom so keep an eye out for them. If you get in to Hervé's style, I can recommend his book ART WORKSHOPS FOR CHILDREN.
Access Art have put lots of free lockdown resources on their website – there are resources for children, parents and teachers – there are projects/workshops/exercises/tutorials/all sorts of things – it's a fabulous resource – I'd say there is something for everyone here – although, be warned, the website is HUGE.
Another go to person for me is illustrator Carson Ellis. Carson has been putting lockdown projects on her blog and there are some SUPERB drawing projects here. I love her #transmundanetuesdays project and her drawing prompts.
New York's The Giant Room are doing daily live workshops for early years – you can find out more here or on their Instagram @thegiantroom– just bear in mind the time difference!
Finally, the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester is my UK go to place for all things early-years. Their #atelierathome programme of Reggio-Emilia inspired creative play can be found on Instagram @earlyyearswhitworth – there are suggestions here on how to create an Atelier environment in your home to inspire creative play. New ideas and themes are posted every Monday and there is a 'lockdown ideas' section in their profile. If this is of interest, check out their ongoing blog.
CLOSER TO HOME (SCOTLAND)
Glasgow's Rumpus Room have been doing fantastic weekly live make-a-longs on Instagram Live and YouTube Live, led by fab artists like Ruby Pester and Morvern Mulgrew. You can find out more on their Instagram @rumpusoom_ Every week they post the things you'll need for the make-a-long, which are simple things that you'll find around the house.
Also in Glasgow, Platform are working with artist Alice Dansey-Wright on Saturday Art Club at Home. You sign up and get sent a new activity every Saturday morning. Find out more on the Platform website. I really like the look of the Paper Dolls activity.
Cove Park have released a series of videos as part of their 'Hands On' project. There are so many good ideas here – the one I want to try is dying fabric with plants led by artist Laura Aldridge (#6). I also watched Zephyr Liddell (#7) markmaking and making abstract collages and it made me want to start making a collage right away! I love how free and expressive her collages are.
Hospitalfield in Arbroath have been posting weekly drawing workshops as part of The Free Drawing School. These aren't specifically targeted to children, but I think lots of them would be good for adults and children alike. Artist Sally Hackett's workshop on making object collages to represent human emotions is AWESOME – when I saw that I was rather jealous that I hadn't come up with that workshop myself! Here it is, with another goodie led by artist Mick Peter.
Edinburgh Art Festival have posted some home creativity DIY activity packs on their website. I particularly like 'Waiting Painting' by artist Alexa Hare, recommended for ages 16+. It's an interesting way to get to know Alexa's own 'melty' process and make your own artwork combining text and image inspired by the acts of listening and observation. Find out more here.
Dance Company Barrowland Ballet were meant to perform 'Learning to Fly', a show inspired by the myth of Icarus, at this year’s Edinburgh International Children’s Festival. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, this wasn’t able to go ahead but sisters Ortonandon have put together a couple of videos explaining how you can make your own Icarus-inspired flying person or creature at home. See videos here.
And last but not least, check out these videos from Coutts Creatives. These films were made by a family, and they show a number of different ways to get creative with your children at home, without the need for lots of equipment. Perhaps you want to have a go making your own film about art with your family – I'd love to see it if you do – please send it in!