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Posted 31.03.17

Light Up at Tate Exchange - exploring unconventional making

By Kat Peberdy

As part of the Making Learning: Pop-up School and Symposium, a team of staff and students from across our continuum of creative education transformed the 5th floor of Tate, with collaborative and unconventional workshops and performances that challenged the concepts of creative education.

Light Up was originally developed by BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts student Joanne Tyler, who worked alongside other dance and theatre practitioners during an artist led collaboration at Moveable Feast 2007, held in Dartington. Joanne tells us more about the project...

"The activity workshop Light Up offers a participatory design experience that is fully inclusive. It is designed to be suitable for the smallest participants of around age 4 upward, and also for people with diverse mobilities, or who experience engagement barriers through language, and it gives a confident start to anyone who has not taken part in much creative activity before.

"Participants design their own slides, which are projected into a white cube gallery or room, and then participants choose to take part in a performative way, by catching moving abstract pictures, whilst moving around the installation themselves.

"For Light Up as part of Tate Exchange, we spoke to Plymouth School of Creative Arts students via video link. They read to us from their journals and demonstrated some of the collages they were working on. We recorded key words from their journals (Cinderella's slipper, eyes, trees with wings etc) and used their themes and images to inspire the designs for the handmade slides.

"Through Making Learning we want to confront the relationship between creativity and teaching, and creativity and unteaching..."

– Professor Andrew Brewerton, Principal of Plymouth College of Art

"We later projected the slides in a dark classroom, and students from BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking used the projected light to create a short improvised performance. Light Up explores the human being as a canvas or sculpture for moving surface designs, enabling visual conversation and dialogue which goes beyond the spoken word.

"The light installation, which participants design for themselves, allows reflections about territory, considering what is mine and what is yours, ultimately placing value on what can be shared."

Jo continued to develop Light Up as an interactive learning platform, and was invited to present the piece at the Beyond Words Conference 2017; an international, multidisciplinary conference focusing on how communication happens beyond words, how the arts use the unspoken, and how those who face problems communicating with words are valued and included in communities.