Innocence & Expression – Programme4


Programme 4 – Tom Robertson 

The first 3 workshops looked at experimenting with different mediums in order to cultivate skills and confidence. Artist Tom Robertson began with simple twenty-minute drawing exercise moving on to monoprinting and clay work. The group used their drawings as a base to create objects or animals with air drying clay and a variety of clay tools. These activities were fast paced and the group were happy to get stuck in. Many of the participants decided to draw cats as their response, and this translated well into the clay as it tended to be quite a simple set of shapes to work with. The more adventurous of the group created a dolphin and even a mermaid. We also had a selection of food themed objects such as a McDonalds drink and a Choux pastry which was given a face in the manner of Japanese ‘kawaii’. We adapted the tasks to the wide range of ages present and abilities.

The printmaking was created via placing paint over an acetate sheet, with the participants then scribing into the surface with cotton buds and the reverse end of paint brushes. This was further embellished later on in some cases by painting onto the surface. The monoprinting really got the participants excited and inspired with a wide range of responses by the end of the session, however the starting point was to have each participant design a house to get them comfortable with the monoprint process. In particular, we had a very strong print in blue from the initial batch which showed an isometric viewpoint and was a very convincing rendering which really set the tone for the rest of the session. We then moved onto a more open ended approach which resulted in a series of different outcomes. As this was a collaboration, we had a good mixture of different ideas throughout.

The next activity was ‘exquisite corpses’ where each participant drew the beginning of a person, animal or monster starting with the head and then torso, hands, legs and in some cases included a background. These were placed on the wall in the final session and arranged with the monoprint backgrounds created in the previous session, to create a collaborative exquisite corpse landscape. The participant’s imaginations worked collectively to curate the large scale drawing installation together learning team working and consideration skills. We celebrated everyone’s achievements in the last session with a presentation of certificates with parents sharing in praising the display. We captured films of parent’s opinions on the benefits their child has seen since coming to the sessions, many of them have learnt positive leadership, team working, behavioural and social skills.



“it was amazing”


“Super-duper, excited and happy”

“I enjoy doing the decoration and enjoy painting on the wall”

“I really like whole session”

“today it was the best day”

“I love today”

“I loved the way it came out as mono-printed, especially the house, this workshop today was absolutely awesome”

“It was nice to sit and make something that you’ve done before and to make it better”

“Excited, Proud”