Recent work can be seen here: nataliezervou.tumblr.com
The Restless Object
MA Art and Design in Education – Institute of Education 2015 – Distinction
This work stems from my observations of young children and their engagement with open-ended materials. The different ways children generate meaning through making was revealed to me via their curious and exploratory handling of materials. Whilst there is an abundance of research on children’s meaning-making through drawing and painting, I felt there was a gap in research that could expand our understanding of how children’s handling of three-dimensional materials can be used to support the important meaning-making processes essential at this young age; the making of these works in conjunction to the observations made became central to my interpretation and understanding.
The children’s engagement with materials, although process based, often resulted in the formation of three-dimensional objects. How the children interacted with these materials was unique to each individual and during the research I identified particular patterns of meaning-making behaviour. It became apparent that unlike drawing or painting in early years education, where there often remains a frame in the shape and size of a piece of paper, these materials possessed transformational qualities.
Deliberately working against the ‘pictorial space’ I wanted to emphasize the live-ness and movement that is demanded by three-dimensional materials. The way that the body engages during the process of making demonstrates a corporeal interaction that is parallel to the way the objects demand to be viewed; the body is directed around the objects and through the space emphasizing their restless nature. Making each piece helped establish links to the different processes employed by the children in this research and enabled me to engage with materials in a way to better understand how meaning can be made.