KOCHI: Its summer time and how can summer camps be not happening in the city. The summer camp organized by the Kochi Biennale Foundation at Pepper House in Fort Kochi takes the children through a memorable ride combined with various activities to learn and enjoy during the holidays.
The first batch completed their camp on May 11 and the second batch of this summer camp will be on from the 13 -22 May at the same venue. Activities include clay sculpting, origami, painting, sketching and patterning with pencil, crayons and Indian ink.
“There is no competition in art, it is not a race and differs from individual to individual,” says Kunjikuttan Narayanan, an artist and one among the teacher taking classes in the camp. Everyone is born creative in their own way. They should never be taught to curb it, to fit into a particular skill, he noted. This summer camp advocates ditching the old practices and embracing the unhindered creativity in children. The camp promotes a child’s unbound imagination and interpretation of the world around them.
It encourages children to work and play with materials including paint, clay and paper. Artists Anto George, Nishad MP and Vipin Dhanurdharan are also with Kunjikuttan in conducting the sessions. The instructors emphasized that they don’t teach the children art but simply provide space and guidelines to create their own work. “They learn about depth and perspective all on their own while drawing and this will help them later in life. We are amazed at the sculptures and paintings, a few of the children made on their very first attempt,” said the artists.
The children are exposed to unconventional artwork like the one on display from the recent exhibition at Pepper House by Dharmendra Prasad using Hay models, and others. This is to bring home the point that art can be in any form.
One of the instructors, Anto George, asserted that there is science in art and even fantasy takes elements from reality. “Art involves math, when these kids make shapes and structures with a paper they have actually solved very complex mathematical theorems that they may not be able to understand otherwise,” he said. Origametria is where this type of teaching begins. In most places, it’s included in school curriculum but not here. Some schools have started math labs but still have more to reach, he added.
The lessons on classical geometry is interspersed with tales of the history behind these models like the tale of ‘Sadako and the thousand paper cranes.’ “Realistic education involving art is what we aim for. The actual essence of education, which is learning by doing happens here”, concluded the instructors.