Shadow Discoveries Workshop
To begin a brand new project, I am including children in the development process. I'm curious to learn the ways in which children explore form and understand light and shadow . I hosted a workshop to observe and document children's play instincts within shadow and character development.
Yesterday, I spent the morning in CDM's Art Studio space, exploring form and shape with clay and the shadows they cast. Visitors used modeling clay and 3D bits to create interesting shapes and we tested them in different light-treated spaces. As part of our preliminary research on play experience in light, I documented visitor's discoveries to be used as visual reference by our ensemble in NOVEMBER when we begin devising our piece, SHADOWDREAMSCAPE. See some discoveries:
What did I learn?- I was surprised to learn that given our shadow play set-up, children under 4 were not particularly interested in or drawn to the shadow forms. I had thought they'd experiment more with shadows cast on the wall but instead were entirely focused on the object itself. Given, the shadow play areas were set amidst a semi-lit room but it stressed to me how important large and visually striking the shadow set-ups need to be in our installation. Part of the discovery experience will be looking behind the screen to see how shadows are made but the visual draw must be spectacular.
I also learned that CDM's visitors are young. Like 80% of them are under 4. Given my other experiences in children's museums this is a bit younger than I am used to. I will think clearer about engaging toddlers in shadows in safe and inviting ways remembering semi-lit darkness so as not to spook them.
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