At last I’m turning an idea I’ve had for ages, into reality. For over a year now I’ve wanted to re-vamp our Individual Learning Plan (ILP) for ESOL learners. Like most colleges we use boring tick box forms to record starting points, mid-course reviews and summative feedback. Dull. So very dull.
Do you remember my mentioning meeting Lauren Powter at Mad Lab a few weeks ago? Well, I decided to ask her to design some folded ‘beak books’ with funky graphics ready for our new academic term. Lauren is going to make an ESOL ILP and a cute fold up ‘seasons’ booklet. I can’t wait to see them.
No wonder Lauren’s so talented, both her parents are photographers. Her father is the renowned wedding photographer Lee Avison.
Manchester Art Gallery
Oh I did enjoy yesterday’s meeting with Kate Day and Connie Withan at Manchester Art Gallery. I have worked with Kate over the past couple of years since the Just the Ticket project when a memorable group of learners enrolled on the Reel Surreal course. At the time, Manchester Art Gallery was host to the fabulous Angels of Anarchy exhibition, which became the inspiration for the Reel Surreal course content. The participants visited the exhibition and attended a screening of Bady Minck at the Cornerhouse and a performance of Pub in the Royal Exchange Studio.
Kate is the Lifelong Learning Manager (Volunteers) and Connie is the Performance Monitoring Officer for the gallery. They were both so enthusiastic about Peripheral Vision and the ways in which we could open up the galleries to the potential learners that our meeting ran over by about an hour. We discussed possible course themes such as the depiction of class in art or civic pride in our wonderful city. The main focus will be on the forthcoming Ford Madox-Brown: Pre-Raphaelite Pioneer exhibition which is on from 24 September 2011 until 29 January 2012.
They also mentioned that they had a ‘pop up darkroom’ which immediately grabbed my attention as I love film photography and would like others to experience the joys of the darkroom too.
I have decided to include the gallery’s English Corner into as many of WEA’s ESOL courses as possible, and promote their Art Bites initiative which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month from 12:30 – 13:00. These would work well with the ESOL programme at the Cornerhouse (the next ESOL Study Morning is The Kings’ Speech on 10 November).
The gallery runs Tutor Training sessions where staff can learn about the resources available for teaching such as the ‘Object Dialogue Box’ which contains weird surrealist objects to promote ideas and learning themes.
Gallery of Costume
Kate also works at the Gallery of Costume in Platt Hall and she suggested that we incorporate visits there during the project, especially as they will be housing a temporary Yves Saint Laurent exhibition from 14 Sept – 31 Dec 11. We thought we could maybe have a course that included a visit to the Gallery of Costume for inspiration followed by a practical ‘Fashion Hacking’ session at Mad Lab.
It was odd being in the building when it was closed to the public with no visitors or staff wandering about. This also meant I couldn’t buy anything in the shop with my 20% discount for being a Friend of the Gallery. I had planned to stock up on birthday cards and some of their lovely acrylic bangles as presents. I shall go back soon anyway to look at the works from the Victorian era for course design inspiration, and buy some postcards to use as teaching aids.
I’m delighted that Connie will give a short presentation on Manchester Art Gallery at the informal Peripheral Vision event at the Cornerhouse on Friday.