Creativity is a key part of our nursery curriculum. We encourage our children to explore a wide range of different media and to use materials to express themselves freely. We also share the works of real artists with our children and talk with them about the media they used and encourage them to create their own interpretation of the work of the artists. Our aim in doing this is to develop confident children who are willing to explore and experiment and are able to think, to reason , to plan and to express themselves freely
All of our two to five year olds have daily art sessions in our dedicated Art Studio with Laura, who is our fully qualified Art Teacher. Laura also spends time with our babies and toddlers each week introducing them to innovative sensory and creative age appropriate art activities.
Our project work in Art starts from our observations of the children. We will observe the children over a period of time to see what it is that really interests them. What do they do that fascinates them, that they spend time on and find exciting? What is it that they keep going back to doing? We became aware that a number of children in the 2-3s and 3to5s group had interests in common, which is a good starting point for a project. They were interested in space, spaces, creating space, patterns and the recognition of repeating patters and mixing and creating colours.
There was one artist for us who captured the essence of all of these elements and that was Yayoi Kusama. She is a Japanese artist who is known as “the princess of polka dots”. All of her work contains dots. She painted, created installations and used sculpture as a form of art but every piece of her work contains a proliferation of dots and repetitive patters of dots and flowers
The children were fascinated by her use of installation, transforming what was once a “blank canvas room” into her work of art. Each week the children discovered the imaginary world of Kusama by exploring her art works such as the “Obliteration room “, the ”Infinity room” and ”Flower obsession”
By manipulating different art materials such as various sized dotted stickers, recycled materials, water colours and chubby markers the children were able to express their creativity by designing colourful dotted art works and large sculptures such as lanterns, pumpkins and much more. The children were able to capture Kusama’s key style, use of fashion by decorating her dress and creating dotted houses in an Infinity Room.
The project covered all seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The confidence (Personal, Social and Emotional development) will have been built for the children whose interests we were covering in that we were recognising and developing their interests. Throughout the project numerous opportunities were created for children to talk about and discuss Kusama’s work and to develop new vocabulary (Communication and Language ) Their gross and fine motor skills will have been enhanced through the creation of painted and drawn dots using a variety of mediums. We looked at books about Kusama so children will have learnt that books are a good place to go for information (Literacy)They learnt about create and recognising patters (Mathematics) We talked about Kusama’s life in Japan and later America and looked at maps of the world (Understanding of the World) There were exciting opportunities for self-expression and exploration of materials (Expressive Art and Design)
Our project ended with an exciting charity art exhibition. Individual and group art works of the children were exhibited at the nursery and family and friends were invited to view and bid for the children’s work .All donations gratefully received supported Winston’s Wishes charity so the children also learnt about giving and those who are less fortunate than themselves.