Teaching and learning online

Since the last lockdown, I’ve been attending amazing classes by other creatives.a constant has been Kaia Hawkins, who offers a wonderful dance art writing combo that really works for me. Check out what they do here:

https://www.kaiakindness.com/

Encouraged by my own experience, I’ve also just taught my first art class online. It was the last for a series of mark making class at Toi Whakaari, the dance and drama school here in Wellington. We’d had such a warm, open learning space in person, I wasn’t sure how it would be. We started with an hour to check in, share how we are, and suss out what materials and space everyone had at home. The class plan was that each student would offer a drawing exercise, based on something we did in class, or their own invention.

It’s important to me that students always take the methods and use them in their own ways. I see my role as a skilled guide- I can take you through processes and methods, but what you make and your experience always belongs to you. I remember my yoga teacher years ago telling us at the end of class:

” the place where you are now in your body, you know how to get there, in the same way you can find your way to the bathroom at night in your own home.”

Thank you Linda, because I think of what I do as the same thing- you learning pathways that work for you, that belong to you.

I loved doing my students exercises, being guided by them and hearing the ways they remixed and reinterpreted and added to what we’d done together. Recently one of my healers asked me “who are you teaching to do what you do?” and that’s something I want to have an answer for. Passing it on, sharing and growing together.

We walked through and drew our morning routines, drew blind from memory and visualisations, created sculptures and drew from different angles, collage the architecture of our rooms, drew ourselves in mirrors, and used light through glasses to create temporary drawings with light. It was glorious! Here’s a few pictures of my exercises :

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