What would happen if we created a space void of colour? Kim and I asked ourselves that one day as we contemplated what to do next with the provocation studio. What would a space void of colour invite children to do? How would it affect their interactions, explorations and engagement with materials?
It took time for us to get to this question, this idea…… this provocation. We had spent the last year visiting many early childhood spaces. Often when entering these spaces we were overwhelmed with the colour and visual clutter of the spaces. Red, yellow and blue were prominent in almost all of these spaces. We often found ourselves wondering why…. Actually we wondered more who decided primary colours were what young children needed.
In November we visited the Reggio exhibit in Vancouver. We spent time examining how they used space. We noticed the use of empty space, the lack of primary colours and the intentionality of materials that were in the space.
In our search for inspiration we found artist Sakir Gökcebag who created an exhibit called Trans Layers made entirely of toilet paper. It was stunningly beautiful. We were struck by how he took an ordinary everyday object and transformed it.
Our idea for a provocation began to crystalize; we would create a space with the colour white. In researching colour theory we discovered white is actually not a colour, it is the absence of colour. We set out to find materials; we went to the dollar store, fabric store, thrift shop, Home Depot, Capital Iron and our backyards. We began to experiment with space and materials. We played with materials testing what they could do, continually trying for something new. We invited my daughter into the space and watched how she interacted with the materials. What ideas were sparked for her? Documenting her explorations of the space we were able to look at the space through the eyes of a child and re-examine our ideas.
The provocation studio is meant to provoke. The ideas present in this space may make you uncomfortable or they may make you jump for joy. Either way we hope you are inspired to think differently about space. We would invite you to examine how a space void of colour makes you feel? What do the materials invite you to do? Finally we would encourage you to wonder with us; what would a space void of colour invite children to do?
The provocation studio is located at Victoria Child Care Resource and Referral. For more information about viewing times and the other wonderful resources at the Victoria ccrr please check out their site.