We pretty much only use our tablet when we are away. It’s great for showing participants the previous days photos, or showing images from an earlier project. It is also a useful tool for showing different styles of art, or images of people, animals, landscapes, market places, and buildings to fire the imagination.
At the moment, we are working in the BP Koirala Memorial Cancer hospital in Nepal, in the Paediatric Oncology ward and in the Palliative Care Unit/Hospice. This time many of the children who are receiving treatment are very young – under 7 – although there are also older children, and their siblings and family here too.
This young boy is 3, he is very ill; when I first met him he was quiet but he did enjoy drawing and he loved the oil pastels. However, over the next few days, he was too tired to draw, but not too tired to enjoy looking at pictures on the iPad. Others in the ward were creating beautiful little birds to put up on the walls, so I showed him my bird photos – he was totally engaged and before long learnt how to swipe, and enlarge the images. On the other side of the window beside his bed, a small audience watched enthralled.
Today I downloaded a drawing app for him which I thought he might enjoy. As he is quite weak at the moment, drawing with the iPad takes less effort that drawing with a crayon.
Many of the people with whom we work have had little exposure to a life beyond their own; they are incredibly curious and love looking at art and photos, learning to swipe, and taking photos too. When I showed this young girl some images of Aboriginal Art from an exhibition we saw years ago at the Gallery of South Australia, she was committed to drawing a particular image the next day. However, the next day she was unwell. When she was well enough, she spent some hours studying the picture and carefully making her own version of it. She, her parents, and I was so proud of her. It is on the wall at the end of her bed now.
It has been interesting to watch the children engage in various artworks on the iPad. Sometimes they just shake their head ‘no’, then suddenly stop and decide on a particular picture they would like to create. This young boy was totally enamored with the dot paintings and spent the afternoon making his own interpretation of them with his mother. I am particularly impressed that he can draw with his gloves on!
Paul Klee has long been a favorite artist of ours – his beautiful watercolors have inspired many artworks along the way. One year we made a serious of flags with the Unatti girls based on his paintings. One of these caught the eye of a small boy and here is his version, of a version of a Paul Klee painting.
MakeDoTell 2018 is the annual project Artists in Community International run in Nepal and/or India. The project is funded through the generous donations of our many supporters. You might consider becoming one.