Lon-art was born out of this travel in India, Rishikesh, where our founder María spent two months running art workshops and activities for a children’s home, Ramanas Garden.
This project was developed from scratch with all the children at Ramanas Garden. We began looking for inspiration by taking photographs around the gardens, drawing ‘en plein air’ around the compound, which was full of flowers, vegetables and animals. Although Ramana’s has flourishing gardens and wildlife, we realized the compound mainly consists of concrete and brick buildings. For this reason, we decided to create mosaics in various places. Beginning with four of the columns of the classrooms and boys bedrooms, we then began to sprinkle mosaic suprises around the compound to add further colour. We found that representing the garden and its surroundings will make a stunning mosaic that reflected the spirit of the children’s house! We feel that this project is having a successful impact on the whole home in terms of participation as all hands have placed a tile somewhere around the gardens, including volunteers, staff and children of all ages.
Not all of the children were involved in the process in the beginning, but slowly during the process, all of the children started to participate in some ways; placing tiles, grouting, mixing cement or cleaning up. We see the importance of creating an awareness around the art work, for the children to respect and value their work, and to be able to conserve the art works for the future. It is essential that the children are proud, gaining self- confidence through creating and having the responsibility of taking care of it.
We decided to explore the media of collage as a way to build compositions from a different perspective. The basis of the collages is based on the photographs of the garden and the children’s portraits. Until now, we are seeing some fantastic developmental work and skills, however, most of the children are having difficulties making a composition by mixing different layers of media, shapes, images, pastels and water colour. The collage is a working process, which we are continuing to develop in daily workshops.
And we also did...
Drama- The children are being challenged with improvisation, being put in scenarios and situations where they can adopt different characters and role- plays. They are able to express themselves through bodily movements, voice projection, spontaneity, individually and team work. With the heavy Bollywood musical influence of the Indian society, the children have shown a love and playful confidence for singing, dancing and acting and love watching them selves on camera.
The children are discovering through recording their own drama workshops, that they are able to recognize composition, perspective, aesthetics, sounds, lighting and colour.
Photography: Photography has been our initial media and way of communication to explore, reflect and tell stories within the home. Photography has been used as our preliminary exploration and inspiration for further works we have engaged in. The children have been excited from the first day to discover they could use our I-phones and cameras to take their own photos.
With all the children art works we would like to create notebooks and calendars for the kids to sell in the cafe as a way of social enterprise that will help them to have an extra source of income to keep Raman’s Garden running.