Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cooking Our Ideas Together

As we all stood around eating delicious A1 bakery pies, we were laughing hysterically both in embarrassment & amazement over last week’s pattern photography workshop – which involved about ten to fifteen of us girls standing in a group and making pattern formations – attempting to reflect those of various Islamic patterns and designs. The outcome of that workshop was definitely a success, as the developed photos looked sensational.

Next on the agenda was our preparation for the following week, which was our studio photo shoot in Brunswick. We all sat around in a circle and mainly brainstormed different ideas we wanted to convey both individually and as a group about how we wanted the world to view us. Many of us wanted to display different aspects of our characteristics. While others just wanted to show their hobbies and interests through the use of props and special effects. Some of the props we will be bringing along to the shoot include skateboards, musical instruments, photographs, old tattered clothes, sporting gear, corporate clothing and ‘Abbayas’ - or full covering traditional Islamic garments.

To try and work as efficiently as possible in the limited timeframe given in the studio, we have all been assigned ten-minute time slots, in which to do our individual photos and our group photo will be pushed forward towards the end of the workshop. Hopefully by then everyone would have arrived! ;-)

Great brainstorming today people! Looking forward to next week :D

Monday, March 3, 2008

Human Art

The 28th of February bought us closer to the end of a month, but opened our eyes to a different way of expressing patterns: using ourselves. We started the workshop by indulging in delicious salad and chicken rolls and some danishes and muffins, everyone was update on the upcoming dates and ‘Crooked Rib’ news and we began the task requested by Faza: making shapes and patterns using our bodies. Sara photographed the patterns we made on the floor from a bird’s eye view (as close to one as possible) and Faza directed our hands and legs and feet and heads. Eventually, as a group, we came up with ideas regarding the placement of our hands and so on and even worked out a synchronised and choreographed piece of movement. It was a real, fun bonding experience between the girls as some of the poses reminded us of a game of ‘Twister’. It was a very cool experience using ourselves and our teamwork as the medium for a piece of art. Can’t wait to see how the photos turned out!

Recyclable Patterns

We were thinking patterns on the following Thursday as well as ideas for our individual pieces. The 21st of February workshop consisted of Lamees, Isma, Nadia, Hella, Veronika and I sorting out all the little bits and pieces of plastic and recycled everyday items Amanda had bought along into coloured piles. Meanwhile, Sumaya, Humeyra, Faza, Reeham and Pesuri worked out the design on the floor with pieces of string and sticky tape. While some of us filled in the design on the floor with designs made out of the bits and pieces of plastic and recycled items, others discussed their project ideas with Amanda. After we had arranged the colour coded bits and pieces as patterns on the floor, at the end of the session, we packed up the pieces by satisfyingly running through the design and messing up the pattern. We had taken pictures of it beforehand so it was all documented. Lisa brought in a macro SLR camera lens and Humeyra, Sara, Nadia and I had fun playing around with it. The world is so detailed through a macro lens!

Spray paint the Love

Apart from February 14th being Valentine’s Day and the day my car registration was to be paid by, it was also the Stencil and Street Art Night! Not only were we drawing and cutting out our own stencils and spray painting the design or picture we were also being fed by Reeham who made a delicious Egyptian dish for us. Amanda ran through how we draw and cut out stencils and how we use spray paint. We had a little workstation set up outside with the spray paint and plastic sheets on the floor. This week we were joined by Ramla, Nadia and baby Luqman, Hella and Isma. The girls came up with awesome, individual and creative stencils; Zeina spray painted an intricate zebra print in a few different colours, Sumaya designed some Islamic stencils and flowery patterns, Pesuri and Isma stencilled their names abstractly, Sara started a trend with her starry lightning bolt, Hella stencilled her name in Arabic, Nadia stencilled an artistic hut, Faza worked on a beautiful design involving hair and butterflies, Rumla spray painted a calm stencil of a person sitting down, I showed some defiance with my spray painted fist and Jasmine spelt out ‘love’. We sat down to think of a name. It took a few workshops and long discussions on Facebook and via email but success finally followed! Lisa unveiled the name ‘Crooked Rib’ the following morning.

“And Shake your Hips”

Thursday the 7th of February we celebrated the beginning of Feb with the Music and Rhythm workshop. We had an awesome array of all kinds of musical genres. From Arabic music to rock to the Beatles to Cuban beats. Lamees brought a belly dancing belt and we all got creative. Jasmine showed us her music collection while Faza and Reeham cartwheeled and posed for Sara and her camera mid-jump in the air. There were belly dancing classes going on and Humeyra photographed Lameese showing us how to do the Lebanese dabke. Pesuri and Faza got ‘fully sick’ with breakdancing poses as I constantly snacked and Reeham frantically tried to find some breakdancing beats on her MP3. Our workshop ended at 8pm as the Hub was booked by the Rowing Club. As we watched the members of the Rowing Club walk in quite puzzled as to why there was a bunch of Muslim girls taking photos of Muslim girls in breakdancing poses, we decided to decide on a name for our project next week.

Painting the town red (with Henna)

The move to our new home the Hub at Docklands took place on Thursday 31st of January. It was our first ‘real’ workshop and the theme was ‘henna’. Sara, Lamees, Reeham, Humeyra and I walked from the Southern Cross airport-looking station to Docklands and right past the Hub until someone pointed it out to us. Amanda had bought some henna tubes from the halal butcher and Faza had printed out some designs. We drew all over each other, ourselves and on clear sheets of plastic. Zeina decorated Lisa’s arm. We took photos and posed for photos with the cardboard-people and ate fruit, cheese and crackers and cake. Lisa reminded us our project was still without a name and we needed to conjure one up quickly so that in meetings with the City of Melbourne she could refer to us by name instead of ‘the creative project group’. After cleaning the henna off ourselves, and certain areas of the carpet, we sat down and discussed names. The verdict: we’ll sleep on it and work on it next week. Perhaps the Music and Rhythm workshop would inspire a name.

Each a Style to their Own

The 24th of January saw us back at Ross House, this time with Zeina, Sara, Sumaya, Faza, Reeham, Marym, Amanda and I bringing along items which inspired us, artwork we painted or drew, images we found beautiful and interesting, photos taken by us or others and magazines and books which showcased all types of art and expression. It was great seeing what motivates and inspires everyone and the art created by the girls. What became apparent was the difference in the kind of style and art that the girls enjoyed and employed, which was cool. Amanda showed us pictures of work by artists in different styles and genres and after class some of us checked out one of her recently finished street art pieces in the CBD. One thing I realised and really enjoyed during this meeting was the difference in creativity of each of us who attended and that there are different reasons why people produce the work that they do, whether it be painting or photography or graphic design. We couldn’t wait to get stuck in to something the next week!

Introductions, Ideas and all that Jazz

Ross House in Flinders Lane was the home of the very first 2008 Creative Art Project meeting. We all sat in a circle and introduced ourselves and very shortly after initial hesitations, we were involved in a discussion based on identity, how we define ‘Australian’, our hopes for the project, views of the Melbournian Muslim Community, multiculturalism and fruit salad. Lisa scribbled down our ideas and opinions as fast as she could on the whiteboard while Reeham, Sumaya, Zeina, Sara, Faza, Jasmine, Amanda, Manal, Veronika and I discussed away. After a short tea break we all decided for the project to consist of both individual and group art pieces, depending on what each person decides to do. We also agreed that a combination and compilation of different mediums will endeavour to be used and explored during the weekly workshops giving everybody opportunities to try out new things and come up with ideas for their final pieces.