Jul 15, 2009

Posted by in Workshops | 0 Comments

Free elephant workshops provide new opportunities for participants

At our 2nd birthday we hosted a programme of free drop in workshops to enable people (of all ages) to try some of the activities associated with members of the Mr Elephant collective.

One of the ideas was to provide a starting point for a proposed programme of more in depth workshops for anyone who wanted to develop the related activity. Another aim which we’ve had from the beginning was to enable people to get involved with Mr Elephant events on a more deeper level.

Its happened on the curation and the performance side from the start, but we weren’t expecting things to sprout so soon from the 2nd birthday taster workshops, but already three of the workshops have produced follow on …happenings!

The vj workshops hosted by Liam D’Authreau (Blendstate visuals) & Tony Coleman (The Lab) have gone on to participants performing live with legendary techno dj Billy Nasty, and a spark plug for the highly anticipated Lab dvd, which is set for the release in the Autum of this year.

The dj workshop hosted by Marc Reck have begun the participants starting fortnightly one-to-one sessions.

And the animation made by some of our younger guests in the workshop hosted by community artist Clare Evans , has been used by the vjs on the night at our 2nd birthday, and the recent live and free event while the Hidden Half were performing.

This kind of cross pollination happens regularly at lots of different levels in Mr Elephant, and there are some shining examples of it happening on larger scales in the city, such as the ever growing Project X Presents Events, and the cross pollination which happens either on a public levels, or within the collectives, makes the events such fertile breeding grounds for new creative collaboration, and grass roots platforms for cross artform learning. Some nice examples of this have happened recently , with both our guests and residents, such as our resident cameraman dropping some records at the last Party Rockin Mammals, our resident vj setting up and promotin his own event, and our resident dj getting to vj for the Heels after a quick hands on tutorial, and a member our guest band vjing to a dj set for the first time at a recent live and free.

We like things like this as they always produce interesting new directions, build shared interests, but ultimately the Mr Elephant workshops will be aimed at the public. Realising there are many levels to this idea, we are aiming to provide many levels of getting involved with Mr Elephant, and are trying not to limit to one age, or demograph. There’s the mask making, and poodle parades, through to the drumming and interactive performance art, and the aforementioned drop in taster workshops through to providing  a full programme of professional knowledge.

We hope to faciliate this happening all the way through to a regular mutually beneficial programme, and things are shaping up well. Like the events we aim to make this engaging, and accessible to all people, so they will always be done as grass roots as possible, as we believe that is what allows real mixes of people which has beneficial effects.

Here’s some animation made by kids who’d never done it before, facilitated by the very talented Clare Evans, and if  you want to get in touch feel free – mrelephantpresents@gmail.com

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