Heuristic – Trial and Error in Making

Gillian Brent (sculptor) and I are working together, inviting teenage boys to experiment with ‘materials’.

Perhaps through the process of making and experimenting new ways of being creative with the materials are revealed. What can my physical engagement with a material teach me? How can an accident be repeated purposefully? Can I resolve a test?

I am asking participants – Year 8 Boys from Top Valley Academy (taught by Caroline Voce) to play and test ‘in making’ whilst reflecting in action on what playful tests might yield. User heuristic and innovation is known to shape the role and usage of technology and art and we are exploring these crossovers. The maker learns through interacting (sometimes physically) with a material and  ideas emerge from those responses.  The process of trial and error in making replicates those employed by design in testing and post usage.  The young people here are creating space for reflection in action where investigative and exploratory practice can be developed to inform further creative decisions.

This flow of actions bears some resemblance to the work of the artist Rafael Hefti currently exhibiting at Nottingham Contemporary, an artist who is inspired by creative experiments with materials. Next week I will be taking young people to the gallery and inviting them to look for similarities in how they have engaged with his approach practically.

Below is a video of some of the expriments we have already undertaken.

In Partnership with Nottingham Contemporary and The Mighty Creatives



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