During the school holidays in April one of Cherbourg’s local artists, James Hopkins, ran a series of Me, Myselfie and I workshops at the Ration Shed Museum. Designed to run concurrently with the Me, Myselfie and I exhibition held at GOMA’s Children’s Art Centre in Brisbane. The Me, Myselfie and I workshops invited its young participants to explore their representations and perceptions of their sense of ‘selfhood’, and consider new and different ways in which they could conceptualise and create their self-portraits.
The Me, Myselfie and I activity program included viewing video works from GOMA’s collection and activities developed by the GOMA’s Children’s Art Centre in collaboration with international artists Angela Tiatia (New Zealand/Australia), Ayaz Jokhio (Pakistan) and Wit Pimkanchanapong (Thailand). These activities are specially designed so that children and families across Queensland could enjoy key elements of the Brisbane exhibition in their local communities.
The Me, Myselfie and I program extends the idea of self-portraiture, beyond documenting physical appearance, to create a richer understanding of how we can express aspects of our emotions, personality, memories and experiences through imagery.
Here are some insights from James about the workshops:
Watching the interactions between the participants during this activity was very engaging. Highlights included seeing how the participants perceived the makeup of a portrait, including their unique moods, thoughts, and perceptions.
Participants were asked to recreate only what they could see through a visually obstructed reflective template, onto a template with the same obstructions. The outcomes were surprising, especially due to the variations in what was visible during the activity due to the ranges in height and size of the participants.
99 Self Portraits
The participants’ approaches to the activity templates were very interesting. Their interpretations and cognitive perceptions of what makes up a portrait varied greatly, from the choices they made in producing their own fantasy portraits, to the order in which they matched the templates. Putting names to the portraits added another dimension to the activity.
Participants cut out a variety of clothing items from a template, then placed them on a model template unique to their preferences. They then made choices such as adding longer hair, jewellery, makeup and glasses using colouring pencils, string and felt, or changed the skin tone of the template.
I, You, We
The different interactions between the participants and the activity were interesting. Highlights included seeing the participants’ cognitive processing and reasoning in their choices in terms of how they perceive the makeup of a portrait, by expressing their moods, thoughts, and perceptions, while also taking into account the thoughts and feelings of others.
Participants cut a self-portrait into specified pieces, which were then spread out on a table at random. Then at the same time, the participants make a portrait with the specified pieces using a template. The results varied in size and shape, depending on their perceptions of what a portrait is and can be.
This project was a collaboration between the Ration Shed Museum and the Children’s Art Centre, QAGOMA.