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Artists Albert Potrony and Janetka Platun ran a five day workshop for families at ATD Fourth World. Five families consisting of 26 people spent the week together using the charity’s main meeting room as their studio which they gradually transformed into a domestic space through installation, sculpture, painting and performance.

Children got a sense of achievement because when they make something they feel good about themselves. Family comment

Using a variety of methods to explore their surroundings, the group began by making a life-size map of the room from strips of paper, tracing the complex outline around furniture and doorframes. Collaboratively families designed the layout of the home they wanted to inhabit, marking out rooms directly onto the floor. Cardboard, tape and found objects were the building materials for furnishing the space. Children, parents and grandparents worked together to construct a bed, cooker, a nest of tables and a television.

Some of the really successful activities were when we did things as a group, as 20 people. ATD volunteer

Part way through the week, families took a step back to reflect on the concept of the home. Taking alternative view points, using symbolic imagery including peep holes, doorways and key holes, families expressed their ideas through drawing, modelling, writing and sound recording activities in addition to looking at the work of other artists.

Blades House by Matthew Darbyshire, exhibited at Gasworks earlier this year, stimulated ideas around life-size models, fantasy homes and fictional inhabitants. A slide show of current residency artist Mahmoud Khaled’s My House is My Studio and My Studio is My House raised ideas about the boundaries of both the private/living space of the home and work/productive space of the artist's studio.

The sessions built up a ‘bank’ of material and developed ideas through the 5 day project. Artist

The week culminated in the recording of short performances, inspired by Guy Ben-Ner’s online video Moby Dick, through which families interpreted their own and each others installations. The films will be screened as part of an interim exhibition in October. Further details will be posted on our website soon.

ATD Fourth World is partnered with Gasworks for Even Better Together, Gasworks’ 3 year programme of family workshops funded by the BIG Lottery Fund.

Links

ATD Fourth World