So here we find ourselves, at the end of our time in JUCONI Ecuador. We have said our final farewells to the children and to the spaces we have filled for the past six months. Here, we will try and bring together for you our final few weeks in Club de Arte and so we start by taking you back to our last blog post from CMAP Ecuador, and into the midst of our Carnival Art project.
During this project we wanted to explore the celebratory ways of communities from around the world, how these events can create a type of art, determine its scale, how it is presented to the world and how we present ourselves within, and surrounded by the carnival.
Having already run a face painting workshop in Club de Arte and the success and originality of designs created by this workshop, (which left the children wanting to do it again!) we felt ready to embark on a two week mask making workshop. We used birds as our inspiration, observing many species from Ecuador but also birds from literature and film.
We studied feathers and beaks and learned how to translate those images into 3d forms using art materials. The children were captivated, and as you can see they have created the most beautiful pieces of work with the materials they were given.
We didn’t stop there either; we wanted to complete our carnival costumes and so using stencils, brushes, sponges and paints we transformed white fabric into a complete set of wings.
At the beginning of the Carnival project we knew we wanted to end on something big; large enough to work on collaboratively but small enough to fit through the door and into the pick up truck. As inspiration for our large structures we used the three giant animal mosaic sculptures that tower over buildings, roads and parks here in Guayaquil. In our final two weeks each group worked together to cut, stick, and mosaic the chicken wire structures bringing to life our very own Parrot, Iguana and Monkey. The animal structures included a lovingly made mosaic detail of each child´s name. Click here to see our stop frame animation ‘Caras de Animales’
Then the time came to pull out the work that had lied dormant, and take it all to the communities where we work. The week began in Isla Trinitaria where half the children from the school arrived to join in the festivities and admire the creations of the Club de Arte children.
Alongside the work and show reel we ran paper flower making workshops where many of the Club de Arte children became the teachers, sharing their new skill with the other children.
Then it was to the sector Balerio Estacio on Wednesday. We were amazed by the turn out from parents and siblings that came and it was wonderful to see the children giving guided exhibition tours to their families. And again there was more flower making workshops, and a real interest from the College students and tutors in the work that the children had produced.
Thursday was our final community exhibition in Nueva Prosperina. With all the work hanging from windows, doors, and strung across the playground. With the sun blazing down we took solace under the gazebo to make even more flowers, hand out certificates and sit back to admire all that the children have achieved.
Early morning on the thirtieth we carried all the beautiful artwork down from the Club de Arte HQ to be displayed for the last time at the wonderful museum ´Nahim Isaias´ in the centre of Guayaquil.
The giant carnival heads were positioned and lit from the inside, the magical masks hung elegantly and the shadow puppets were proudly displayed all together.
At 3pm the participants arrived and our professional exhibition and celebration day began, which was also to include a museum tour for the children of the history of Guayaquil and some very exciting performances.
There was an outstanding response to the children´s artwork from parents, Juconi supporters and the general public. Many were amazed by the quality and originality of the pieces, and at just how much the children had achieved over the past six months.
We could not have been prouder of the participants as we ourselves stood back and marvelled at their creations; work that had been tucked away in boxes in our office, now took centre stage for all to see. The films and show reel were also a particular hit, with a few of the adult attendees requesting stop motion workshops so that they could learn!
We all then gathered in the foyer for a grand finale performance that included a local hip hop band, flamenco dancer Maria Gabriella Alarcón and ‘Demonds’; a spectacular acrobatic troop of brothers and sisters who are part of the JUCONI programme.
Our time within Club de Arte has finally come to an end and the lovely Becky will now take the colourful reigns of this brilliant project. Our journey has been filled with such wonderful creative possibilities and the opportunity to explore and realise our ideas. It has been filled with colour and laughter and hard work and endless support. With shouts of ‘SEÑORITA!’, sweaty playground games and goodbye kisses. Glitter and glue and chaos and enormous smiles.. And we wouldn’t have changed it for the world.
Adios y un abrazo fuertisimo!
Chloe y Katie