Discovering Place Through Exploring and Art
September 26, 2013
Beautiful Autumn days at Talking Stick are not to be squandered. Upon arrival last Thursday participants were given maps of Awbury Arboretum and we began plotting routes to parts of the arboretum we had not seen before. With maps in hand we headed for the Secret Garden and Haines Field, stopping to mark down various locations. We spent a good deal of time communing with our space through tree climbing, looking at the noteworthy tree and insect specimens, and enjoying the weather. I hope that by developing an appreciation for our space the young people will also learn to look for the uniqueness of geography, culture and environment in the world at large.
Inspired by the morning walk, we returned to Cope House to work on art maps. After last week's technical work on calculating latitude and longitude, this week I wanted to explore the idea that maps can be art. I was inspired by the book The Map as Art, which is a beautiful and thought provoking compilation of contemporary works of art maps.
At Talking Stick our pieces were created with paint and tape, markers and street maps, and tracing paper and atlases.
Street maps, rail routes, islands, and city plans all emerged through our art projects. As always, it was incredibly satisfying to watch our homeschoolers learn by doing rather than simply following instructions. They are continuously gathering knowledge through their experiences and it is a joy to share the journey of education with them. Working with them every week brings to mind the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery:
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."