A bird in hand with Josie from the Barbican Art Gallery

We were so lucky to have Josie along this week, on the key landscape drawing trip. We need all the help we can juggling all the kids, pens, paper and water colours. Teaching is close to being a waitress and how an artist’s assistant must feel! Pass me, fetch me, can I have… but all of this adds up to a sense of flow in the children and a good drawing which is what we are after! Our end subject was the Bird Cafe, we have been taught by Jane Smith and her coffee shop map that coffee is part of our landscape here in Hackney and that coffee shops make a great subject, with lots of character and the thing kids love the most is lettering! Josie, who works at the Barbican, told the kids about the first art school, The Bauhaus – and the subject of the Barbican’s current exhibition. “We are used to the idea of Art School today” she said “but this was the very first!”. When I saw the exhibition I was very moved by a painting by Paul Klee’s son and how often the children of the tutors were a source of inspiration, to the whole school and community of adults. Artists in Hackney look and learn: you are surrounded by very amazing artists – just on a smaller scale, we need to help them to create and be part of our artistic community.

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