Art Pharmacy were approached by long-time clients Mirvac to come up with a creative hoarding solution that was not only aesthetic, but that engaged the local residential community of the Green Square precinct.
Art Pharmacy engaged local Sydney artist Elyssa Sykes-Smith, graduate of NAS and Sculpture By The Sea prize winner, to lead workshops in nearby East Village Shopping Centre. In these workshops, local children were invited play with colour and shapes and create their own masterpieces, which would be included in the design for hoarding.
Elyssa created templates of timber letters, and integrated the childrens’ arts and crafts activity to produce a high quality, inclusive and engaging hoarding design that the local community could be proud of.
We asked Elyssa for a few thoughts from this project:
Why are kids so great to work with as an artist?
I think the biggest reason why kids are so fun to work with is that they’re not controlled by what is wrong, and what is right, and they’ll join together dots that we would sometimes stop ourselves doing as adults. So they can come up with amazing , creative combinations and ideas that just flow so naturally. And you can see that just with the artworks they made today. They approach it completely differently than I would and it’s really refreshing.
Do you try and incorporate this approach into your practice?
I think the more you’re around something, the more it rubs off. So that approach means I’m learning from it and it’s an exchange. I think people often get too trapped into thinking we’re teaching kids things – but really we facilitate experiences for children and then we learn from them.
Any breakthrough creative moments when working with children?
Sometimes. Sometimes we’re just having a little chat about something and I’ll suggest they draw something – like a flower. And they’ll be like , “What?! Flowers? That’s so yesterday”. Or they make the flower into something else that we were talking about, like a dragon, and they go on a creative journey.