AREFS taide ja kulttuuri ry
AREFS art and culture association

  • Savon Radan ryhmä organizes activities along the historical Savo line

final art work at art camp 2016

International Art Camp 2016

"Discovering Magic and Mystery of Nature"

In summer 2016 AREFS is co-organizer of two youth art camps in Vehmaskylä.
The subject of the second camp is art and nature.
Through art activities children will get (more) attention for nature and environment.
Every child has an own history and it is their base on which they discover the world. Their past is something which is already covered by layers of experiences, just as the history of a civilization. An art process goes in on the meaning of the different layers, not by telling about it, but through the way of making the art. The process is a kind of archeological digging to roots one cannot imagine.

Nature is a playground and a source of life. The art camp invites youth (aged 10-17) to enter the landscape in Vehmaskylä (Mikkeli) to enter a world of hidden treasures. Nature offers the magic of an unknown world and by entering the forests and fields we will discover the mystery of the living animals and their habitat.
Through art and poetry new and alternative ways to enter nature and to discover its importance will be done.
Working language is English.

During the camp the youngsters have taken part in different art subjects.
1. collecting nature material
2. collecting memories in a sketchbook
3. painting the light and dark of the forest
4. painting a selection of the collection
5. paper-mache on a balloon
6. painting the dark and light of the face by using the forms of their collection

It seems children are going easily out of the box, but it is very difficult for young people to use another way of thinking, organizing and referring as they usual use. A visual vocabulary is a growing process and never ending. To understand the previous world and to be able to take part in the future world a wide range of visual languages is important.

a start with drawing

collecting and drawing

drawing based on colleted items from nature

To start a creative process the participants got a sketchbook and an empty box. The box they could use to collect all kind of interesting thing they find around the camp. The sketchbook is to make drawings, notes and to add pieces which they like. Finally it will be a dictionary of their impressions. A book full of personal memorable interactions and it will be like a historical moment in their life. Afterwards this sketchbook is a document telling about a period which is closed but has happened during this specific summer.
After years it will work as a flash back and as a part of their life. This is how history works, once it happens and afterwards only the traces are left.

ballons, another subject in the art camp

balloons another subect during the art camp

balloons painting with nature items

balloons a way to explore nature

balloons presentation in nature

Some art work needs preparation, in this case it is the underground for the painting. Paper-maché is a good media to use for painting and by using a balloon as the form on which the paper-maché is folded, the final form will look like a balloon or like a head.
Even they have to be patient to fix all the different layer, finally the base is ready for drying.
The paintings of Arcimboldo explain how leaves, flowers, grasses etc. can be used to construct a painted portrait. By using their own collection a new way of building a face can be the result i=of this experience.
The dark and light colors are part of the composition and there is a possibility to create even more than one face on the balloon.

In two sessions the painting is finished and with a presentation outside the objects are brought into the forest as a part of a ceremony.

painting the light and dark of the forest

results of painting the forest

The first painting has taken place in front of the forest. The darkness of the high trees and the light of the sun is part of the observation in color. Younger children use often the forms they know from the past, but still new elements are added to their painting.
Creating light and dark to modeling the forms on the paper is a serious problem, but can be solved on many ways. Open your eyes and try to see the world as it was new for you and there it comes. The results show the personal way of interpreting the visual world.

painting the collection

results of painting the collection

A second painting is a composition of the collection in the box. It can be seen as a study for the balloons. In two sessions the painting has crowned from a blank piece of paper to an intensive visual impression of the nature material. Depending on the age, experience and talent of the person a remarkable painting is the outcome.

More information about Children-Countryside.

The first youth art camp in 2014
The second youth art camp in 2015
Eco-art camp 2016

The art activities in this camp are supported by:

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No reproduction by any means or in any language without prior permission of the author.