Posted by Ushan Boyd
Well the first week of workshops has come and gone too quickly (the second week of the 5 week project). We have been settling into a routine, the teachers, students and Education Assistants all getting familiar with the rote.
I have been relishing teaching animation again. It is so much fun. I have a great class of focussed students, which is a delight.
Each of the artists (5 groups in all) work on a daily basis with the same students, so they are all getting a chance to deepen their skills. In order to select who was in which class, the school ran a ballot, and the students numbered each skill from 1 - 4. We found most of the junior students preferred circus, while most of the oldest seniors preferred documentary or animation. The rest of the ages were a fairly even spread across the skill groups.
Sandy McKendrick is a delight to watch work. She really engages students in an entertaining way, acting, playing and storytelling to capture their imaginations and focus their use of puppets in a fun environment.
Jordan Bryon's students have learned the basics, and are now entering the documentary process more fully. THis means that our workshops have tablet toting budding filmographers dropping into our classes and asking pertinent questions like "What does creativity mean to you?" I had a field day with that one!
So now we must quickly enter the middle phase of the project. We have such awesome stories shared by Gooniyandi and Walmitjarri Elders. These have been shaped into a show. As the new work is created, we will be rechecking with Thomas, Don, Amy, Cissy, Billy and the others to make sure that the shape of the show fits the stories faithfully.
What an adventure! We are loving it! It has been really nice to get to know the people in Fitzroy Crossing. We feel so lucky to have been welcomed into their work and homes and share their dips, coffees and laughs with us.
And finally, getting to know each other, the artists on the project, has also been a real delight.