Atelier is the French word for “workshop” or “studio” where artists and students can work together producing pieces art. In the Reggio approach to education the atelier studio is equipped with a variety of open ended materials that gives children a change to explore, experiment, express themselves, make mistakes, follow through an idea, plan and then create and share ideas with their peers.
The studio offer lots of ways for children to interact and explore, there is no right or wrong way for them to do something. This means that they can find their own way of working, their own preferred materials to use and their own ideas to follow.
‘Our image of the child is rich in potential, strong, powerful, competent and, most of all connected to adults and other children.’ Loris Malaguzzi
My role as a Sensory Atelier at Ashmount Special School is to introduce new concepts, materials, music to the children, to spark their curiosity and creativity and establish a new explorative way of learning.
“A place to represent the world in many different ways…
A place for creativity, imagination and exploration…
Of provocations and challenges
Of tenacity and problem solving.”
‘Atelier’ by Patricia Hunter-McGrath
In a traditional Reggio setting the provocations are mainly the visual arts, and the atelier steps back and observes how play unfolds, joining in at carefully chosen moments. As a dancer I’m interested in bringing the moving body to these journeys of discovery, using the body as an invitation, a provocation. What’s interesting about the moving body is that it’s an invitation that children take up gladly.
We can’t under estimate how fertile this invitation can be. For children who seem ‘in their own world’ it difficult to break into that place and to begin communication. But the body speaks, conversation can be had, senses can be explored and art can be created through and with the body. It’s exhilarating, making that connection with a child, taking that journey together…