Tuesday, 25 June 2013

HOSPITAL SANT JOAN DE DEU. 20th June. 2913: "X-Safari", Game Textures, and more puppets!


WORKSHOP: "X-SAFARI" Textures and Puppets

("Octopus" made by Pau , 10)

("Dragon" made by Abril, 9)

Creating Textures and testing the game

Creating Textures

(New Texture for X-Safari´s Trees)

Testing the Game
(Idaira, 7)

(Pau, 10)

Sunday, 23 June 2013

SANT JOAN DE DEU. 19th June 2013

SANT JOAN DE DEU. 19th June 2013

(Making puppets with Alex and Laura)

(2 families making puppets)


('Dragona' made by Laura, 13)

(Arlequin, made by Gemma, Pau´s Mum)

(´Blandito´and `Arlequin´ together)

(Blandito, made by Pau, 10)

('Pirata Miquel' made by Miquel, 7. Pau´s brother)

('CastaƱera', by  Angels, Pau´s Grandmother)
(Pau´s family artwork)

('Cavall' made by Alex, 10)

('Pastissera' made by Anna, Alex´s Mum)

('Hermana Maxima, made by Qian Qian, 13. 
ITACA, Psyquiatry Department.)

Looking at their creations from yesterday



Designing an Installation easy to transport.

Designing an Installation easy to transport.

Saturday, 22 June 2013



Thursday, 13 June 2013

SPAIN.- TV MEDIA (Chanel 9. Spain) and PRESS (Mediterraneo Journal) ABOUT THE PROJECT

SPAIN.- TV MEDIA (Chanel 9. Spain) and PRESS (Journal Mediterraneo)


El Mediterraneo (Journal):

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Important Lessons.

Date: 28th of May.

On the 28th of May I arrive to the hospital for my first workshop with the children. Some of the most important lessons I learnt from this experience are : a) you don't know how many children will come each time, b) you don't know how many will stay and for how long c) children deal with many different emotions at the same time such as excitement, fear, tireness, anger, frustration, empathy, loneliness, curiosity, etc. 

Morning : SHADOW-PUPPETS WORKSHOP (Made out of X-Rays)

Children arrive around 10.30am at the schoolroom and do their schoolwork until 12.00am. From 12.00 am to 1.30 we develop our first workshop: 'Create Shadow Puppets out of X-Rays'. 

Before starting, I talk to them about medical equipment and what X-Rays are used for. Then, we start imagining what we could do with them in a more creative way. After this first approach, I show them the mock up shadows and ask them which animal they want to create. Some of them choose the same one. Let's go for it! We need to get inspired! Animals hats help us with that. They choose a hat and put it on to get ideas and inspiration. For me the use of hats is more a practical issue for covering their faces than anything else.

We start drawing, cutting, and creating our own safari. Each child creates two different shadows to play and decorate his/her room. They also write their names creating graffities with X-rays. I will put the animals and their names in the digital games. They are the creators, the artists! and therefore, the owners of the artwork.

During the workshop a girl (Johanna, 8years old) starts feeling very tired. She is getting slept while her eyes drop down. Finally, the girl has to leave though she wants to stay. Ester (the teacher) calls a nurse to come and bring her back to her room. Later on, Yolanda (one of the teachers) informs us that she has been receiving demo-dialisis treatment for more than two hours before coming to the workshop. Ten minutes later, another girl needs to take some x-rays. Another nurse comes to pick her up. 

During the workshop I observe children reactions. All of them are quite concentrated and enjoying their creations. Two girls Angela and Carmesina (both12 years old) make jokes and have fun about their animals: A monkey and a lion. I ask questions to all children about whether they like the activity and why. 
I learn another important lesson:

a) Many hospitalized children do not talk maybe because: a) physical tireness (Johanna) , b) they come from a different language and cultural background (Florian, 7 years old), because their personality (shiness) or simply because emotional issues (loneliness, sadness, rage, etc). 

I understand that my qualitative research needs to be focused on observation and some written/drawn short questionaire. The problem with questionaires is that children fluctuate during the sessions and it is very uncertain which ones will finish the workshop and how many will be available to undertake the questionaire. Finally, I decide to focus more on observation rather than on questionaires.

Afternoon: HAND-PUPPETS WORKSHOP (Made out of Medical Equipment)

From 2.30 to 4.00pm we work on the creation of hand-puppets made out of medical equipment (basically gloves, cotton and bandages). Some children came to the previous workshop in the morning, another ones are new. I talk to them about the hospital environment and the hospital staff and show them new ways to use the equipment: making puppets to play and do theatre shows. 

(Johanna making a hand-puppet. 8 years old)

Each child takes a glove and I put the rest of the medical equipment in the middle of the table to share it. Let's go for it! Children seem very excited and it seems they are having lots of fun.

(Angela, 12 years old, making a hand puppet)
(Vampire made by Juan Carlos, 8)

Some children, like Juan Carlos, play with their puppets and  embody the puppet's behaviour. Juan Carlos tries to attack me and bite me with his Vampire and I laugh while he smiles and continues playing. I realize the capacity of children to "represent"; in other words, to play and enter a magical world while being aware that all happens into their real world.  'Representation" requires to follow certain rules, the rule that all is possible under a determined control and organization. We both know that his 'Vampire' is actually an operation glove, and we both know the environment is not a forest but a hospital. However, for a short period of time, he is the one that controls, rather the other way round. He is the one that stablishes the rules, the powerful one. The one that decides what, how and when. Play revitalizes his energy, his fantasy and therefore his emotional potential. Play bring him back his childhood.

Lucia creates a Dragon and explains me that is a present for her brother. Many children from the workshop, like Lucia (8 ); Simon (15); Angela (12), etc, decide to give the shadows and the puppets as a present to their relatives. I find that the art-work transcends the walls (space) and the 'moment' (time) because it continues bringing play and therefore enforcing relatives, children and staff relationships.  
(Dragon made by Lucia, 8 years old)

In  general children do not have a previous idea of what they want to create but improvise at the same time that they work. This reinforces my believe of improvising as a tool to develop children's imagination. Nothing is predetermined, everything is possible for a imaginative mind. 
(Monster made by Angela, 12)
(Monster made by Florin, 7)

Carmesina paints her glove in green color and multiple possibilities open. Where I see a turtle, she sees a cocodrile, where I see a tree she sees a snake. This reminds me Phenomenology and how reality is a "phenomenona" of the mind and life experiences. Are we constructing a 'phenomenon" that it will change children approach to hospital's materials and environment in each workshop? This is actually my aim.

(Carmesina-12, creating a Cocodrile)

The workshop finishes and children go. With their puppets and toys on their hands they do not seems very happy to go back to their rooms. I would have love to have more time and play with their creations. 

Next time I will try to do it at least for a week and create stories (tiny theatre sketchs) with them. I suspect that improvisational theatre play could help them to express more emotions and liberate feeling through the puppets which can work as a mirror of themselves. 

Digital Game "DOCTOR GIGGLES". First contact with the game.
(Child playing Doctor Giggles)