Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the latest phase...

Over many years I have conducted classes for all ages, done stints in Secondary School Education in different parts of East Coast Australia, solo-operated a very busy shopfront art studio in inner Melbourne for a number of years in the 1990's -where I ran courses for mostly adults that were memorable for many reasons, worked on retreats, camps, in  adult education facilities and Special Education  and alternative schools (even Nannied in England on a short working holiday!). Quite recently I decided to go quietly for the time being and do classes, mostly through word-of -mouth, from my home studio- in part due to a time of illness and recovery plus disruption resulting from relocation from interstate ...and also given the time it takes to establish oneself in a new place. But mostly the decision came from an experience early last year before I packed up and left Newcastle where I was asked to do a morning Art cclass for some friends that became one of those extraordinary experiences you never want to see end. At the same time I also had several other lovely people coming for individual studio time...also good memories!
 In the past I might have felt it best to make a point of doing larger classes with a very clockwork  schedule.  But since that particularly positive experience of this much more organic,intimate, conversational approach I have realised  tailoring classes to just a few students or even individuals can work brilliantly for all concerned. People of all ages are welcomed into my studio and for me to be surrounded by the materials, books and resources I love to refer to, plus have access to a garden and light and a verandah table depending on the weather, with cups of tea if we wish to indulge...its simply quite magical! The smaller the class the more likely I will sit cosily and work with participants on the same projects, discussing as we go all manner of concerns relating to the task or an artist, a medium and so on.  I find this such an incredibly stimulating way of working that seems to lead to all kinds of other projects and opportunities anyway...It is proving to be a truly wonderful new chapter for me in which to pursue the most stimulating kind of teaching/ learning process.
Below is a photo in my studio with a window to the left of my computer from where I  find myself occasionally distracted watching tennis being played on the next door court. The 2 other photos are of a wonderful group of 4 girls from the nearby school who come once a week to do a class in my studio. Their readiness to jump right in is always high and each session is full of discussion, experimentation and exuberance! This has led to other friends or family members lining up for classes which has been wonderful. Each person to come along really wants to be there... which is always a recipe for success and enjoyment.


Chrissy Foreman C said...

This is so wonderful Sophie! It's just like to you REALLY connect with people in an intimate environment, through creativity.
I imagine the energy invovled in another one of your session ~ the kids must be thrilled!
I hope you've been well, we must touch base again sometime soon :)

Sophie Munns said...

That is indeeed a compliment coming from someone as energised and inspiring with kids as I know you are!
Look forward to catching up very soon Chrissy!
S xx

Chrissy Foreman C said...

Aww ~ thanks Sophie!