“Creativity, as has been said, consists largely of rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. Hence, to think creatively, we must be able to look afresh at what we normally take for granted.”
— George Kneller
Hamilton Child Care Centre’s art studio is a place of deep thinking and representation of this thinking is achieved through a variety of beautiful art mediums. Children are encouraged to generate new ideas and forms of expression through investigations supported, encouraged, and challenged by a skillful artist who ensures their artistry is made visual, and their voice is heard. Working across time in the studio and through uninterrupted periods to think about their work, children can create what is meaningful to them, share and discuss their work with their peers and learn with and from one another in a collegial atmosphere. Hearing each child’s voice prominently through dialogue and art works created removes assumption, shows respect, and celebrates the uniqueness and individuality of every child.
The studio is not a space of making identical paintings, rather it is a space where creativity is encouraged through a balance of intentional teaching, guided instruction, and free exploration. This creates a learning environment where children can develop their visual art skills whilst maintaining and developing a strong sense of self, the ability to hypothesize and test out theories, and be encouraged to use lateral as well as logical thinking.
Children are naturally creative and abstract thinkers, and the art studio provides them with a space to show the beauty and complexity of their work. Whilst also showing respect for the individual, the environment and for the quality and characteristics of the materials we work with. Children are exposed to a wide range of media e.g. clay, wood, wire, paper, charcoal, paint, quality papers to explore and represent and share their ideas. Malaguzzi, the founder of the schools and infant and toddler centres in Reggio Emilia believes ‘children have a hundred ways of knowing, of feeling, and understanding’ and the art studio is a space that allows this creativity and many ways of thinking to be shared.
The art studio at Hamilton Child Care Centre supports children’s creative pursuits and enriches the overall centre program through group project work. Engagement with the studio helps to further thinking and ideas established in group time learning and small focus groups. It is a space that provokes creativity, curiosity, and inquiry whilst learning together and expressing ideas.