Outsider Art

The English high school system requires its 14/15yr old pupils to experience a 'work placement' for one week. 
It's difficult to place some individuals - there just aren't enough 'jobs' out there for them to do - or, their challenging behaviour / lack of maturity means that schools don't want to risk placing them outside of a school's domain.
Some schools seem to have developed a way around the problem - to use open days or taster sessions in art colleges to place these students. By doing so they meet their set of criteria.

My colleague and I had no idea that the sessions we were going to provide for the day were for individuals who had absolutely no interest in applying for art college, and pretty much dismissed much of what we tried to win them around with.

A really, really tough art school day was had!

A fortnight later, and with a little time to reflect, I've decided to upload some of their drawings.

What strikes me about them is how naive, or outsider art like they seem. 
They reminded me of an exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery in 2010: 'Intuition' - works from the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection.

All of these portraits were drawn as if observed directly in front of our model Frank - not so; the work placement students were working on easels in a semi-circle around the subject - some could only see the model in profile - however the drawings define how a portrait 'must' look. 

In another exercise we added our 2nd model Lesley. 

For a short time, the group's concentrated attempts captured this much more complex scenario.

Excellent further reading: Raw Creation - Outsider Art and Beyond by John Maizels.


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