The context :
Nowadays that, due to the Covid-19, the whole society is facing new common challenges namely in the field of education and arts. During the sanitary crisis and probably for several months to come artistic education is not a priority: museums and exhibition halls are closed, no exhibition are held, children and youth must have ceased to visit these places : a situation that is going to remain for a while since people are encouraged to avoid crowded places such as museums, theaters, etc.
The already more or less neglected field of visual education is now exposed to an even higher danger: its theoretical part just like its practical aspect.
As an artiste and historian, I am convinced about the utmost utility of visual education and visual creation as we live in a society where information passes through images. Youth need a critical and a creative vision about images as a communicational tool as well as as an aesthetic product. And, as a teacher, I am convinced that the best method to learn, to evoke curiosity passes through creation.
This is why I have been designing a whole package of online learning and teaching tools usable from distance inspired by visual storytelling, artists’ videos, do-it-yourself tutorials and academic conferences on art history at the same time. The particularity and originality of these tools reside in the fact that they combine the methods and the goals of the these previously mentioned and already existing dissemination and learning materials :
- they tell artist’s personal stories
- they “exhibit” artworks visually
- provide techniques
- gives a series of references to art history
Artworks are being presented through videos from the artist’s own point of view. He/she describes the conceptual background with references to different artworks, with reflexions about art history and with technical demonstrations. The provided techniques are all based on a “democratised” concept of artistic creation which means acquittance with easily accessible and affordable methods which do not require either a long period of training or expensive materials and tools.
The OrnaMental Thinking project is designed to be the first set of videos based on my own artworks and shall be followed by a series of other artist’s videos consecrated to their methods, works and ideas. Each set will consist of 3 to 10 videos between 15 and 25 minutes.
In OrnaMental Thinking, I recycle materials, tools, techniques and existing ornaments to create artworks. I use ornaments not only as decoration but also as a thinking tool, a design tool and a transnational communicational tool exploring its relationship to different fields of activities such as games, abstract and figurative art, music and popular tales, scientific thinking methods, subconsciousness, collective and individual stories, exchanges between cultures, social life, transmission of aesthetic visions and even political developments.
Project details :
This set of ten videos are being prepared in my workshop with the collaboration of other members of COTA (Contemporary creation and traditional arts for social exchange),our association dedicated to art as a communicational and transmissional method in contemporary society.
I have chosen ornaments as the the guiding thread of this projects because they are the most recurring elements in my different activities. They have accompanied me in my creative work : jewellery, installations, paintings and calligraphies, but also in my researches in art history about medieval Islamic art. A less personal reason is that I’ve realised that ornaments represent quite an unexploited field from a theoretical point of view in spite of their omnipresence in our everyday life and the fact that we express aesthetic judgments about them day by day.
In scientific and academic research, ornaments has acquired just very recently the status of a worthy research subject. On more popular platforms, such as online videos, only very few attention is given to them as intellectual or artistic products event though thousands of tutorials exploit different manners to decorate our environment with ornaments.
Ornaments have dozens of different uses, functions and meanings broadcasting universal and very specific messages at the same time which are often not so easy to decode or to use. Nevertheless, they have some characteristics that make them apt to reuse and recycle :
- They are free of ideology still they are closely connected to ethnic, religious or cultural identities.
- They can be adapted to many different material and digital artistic medias.
- There are easy and simple methods to create them even without having special artistic skills. Creating them has an obvious therapeutic aspect and a calming effect.
- They are everywhere and it’s possible to approach many different topics through them.
The videos are addressed to
- teaching professionals looking for creative techniques of transmission
- individuals interested in learning and creating