home work master classes/workshops essays cv contact
Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela Nicholas Arroyave-Portela

Creating individual autobiographical maps that come together to make up the land mass of the United Kingdom.

Master class Saturday the 23rd March 2013 with Nicholas Arroyave-Portela.

Concept: Pronoia - The belief system that the universe is trying to help you on your path to becoming the best version of yourself. A self who discovers and develops their talents and abilities for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone. It is often the things we are drawn to in early life that offer us clues to the life that awaits us. Follow your joy and passion in life.

This workshop seeks to make you think about your own identity by telling your personal story and perhaps that of your family and expressing it in the form of a life map, a map made up of layers of rolled out clay which is particularly receptive to touch and imprinting. You can express your ideas in an abstract way or even in a more literal and figurative way.

What does Identity mean? It might include where you were born, your ethnic background and culture, your language. How your parents met, where were they from? Your family tree? The kind of clothes you like to wear which expresses a sense of who you are or the kind of music you listen to. Your favourite foods or perhaps a hobby like a sport or activity. Perhaps the role models famous or otherwise you look up to, identify with or would most like to emulate .It might be a strong attachment to a place. Think of a visual way you might want to express these ideas, examples of how such notions of identity are expressed in every day life can often be seen in the form of Graffitti in a public space or tattoos etched onto skin (what would your tattoo be?). Think about words or slogans. Perhaps you could prepare a mood board and start to attach images and shapes that represent these ideas, for example shapes that represent the form of a country or county, flags or letters that make up words, also think about textures and tools that can imprint on the clay like wooden stamps, serated edges etc.

Make a list: For example this is a list I conjured up to think about my identity:

British, Spanish, Colombian, artist, clay, Oxford, harry potter, a Condor, the sea, the colour blue, Radiohead, greek mythology, my name Arroyave in the Basque language means in literal terms 'the lower end of a throat between mountains', the Spanish city of Cadiz (where my dad was born), my father's migration routes from Spain to Colombia to the UK, my route from my flat to the studio in Hackney every day, the places I feel most connected to in nature are on a mountain or a beach, contour lines , throwing lines, the numbers 7,8,11 and 33 etc.

What is the definition of a mind map: Graphical technique for visualizing connections between several ideas or pieces of information. Each idea or fact is written down and then linked by lines or curves to its major or minor (or following or previous ) idea or fact, thus creating a web of relationships.

Google earth: Imagine the Earth and it's surface from the perspective of a bird. The higher it flies, the bigger picture emerges. Now imagine the construction of that surface which has been made layer by layer over time like the contours of a mountain. This is the perspective you will have when looking down on your life map in clay.

The technique: layers of clay are rolled out between two sheets of newspaper to prevent it from sticking to surfaces but also to achieve a consistent thinness. These sheets can then be cut up into the desired shapes which are in turn drawn on, imprinted on, layered on to each other to create a high relief surface area. At the end of the workshop everyone will be given an individual template which they will use to cut around to create pieces that will fit together to make up the map of the united kingdom.