Problem Solving Through Play

Élodie Alexandre makes illustrative constructions inspired by narratives about feelings of displacement, memories of places and everyday-life anecdotes. Using multifaceted pieces, she creates dialogues to engage the viewer in an intriguing, poetic world of personal images. The pieces explore the two and three dimensional and create a universe which mixes the familiar and the unfamiliar, the personal and the universal.

Elodie is not atually working as a parent in this submission but she is working with a child in drawing conversations. The interaction between Elodie and Poppy begins to articulate the significance of 'play' and 'problem solving' as method and content in this project and so, here is their book, soon to be scanned in more detail:

Hi Natasha! I posted the book the other day, hope you'll get it soon! I just had a quick look at the site, I like what you have done, it is very clear and shows the diversity of these dialogues. About the way we worked on the sketchbook with Poppy here are a few comments. Me and Poppy both lived on-site at West Buckland School in Devon. Poppy is the daughter of Miranda Goode, who was houseparent at one of the boarding houses and who is also an artist (she paints landscapes). Because we both lived on-site, we used to leave the book in each other's pigeon-hole, for the other to discover and carry on - it was always very exciting to open the book and see what was new! Although we met often during school life, we never actually discussed the drawings with each other, it was a real visual conversation. I always tried to respond to Poppy's drawing in a narrative way and tried to introduce a playful element - for example, introducing "characters" (like the cats or the birds) or leaving some cut outs for her to glue and use, sometimes leaving instructions. Poppy enjoyed writing or labelling what she was drawing, and I tried to respond to that aspect as well. Because she preferred using pencil drawings, I introduced more colours. Sometimes I drew "backwards" overlaying drawings on her drawings, as she systematically moved forward. As far as I am concerned, this conversation made me work in new ways and pushed me in new directions. I would never plan a drawing, I just followed my immediate response to what i saw. Sometimes I would spend hours, sometimes minutes! The main aspect of our approach was playfulness. I hope the flow will be easy to follow as we did not follow any rule, but it is also nice to not always be able to see where the drawings start and finish. Objectively, I also think not all parts of the book work (but that also reflects the fact that it is a spontaneous conversation) but there are some real gems as well. My favourite drawings are the ones where our drawings overlap. I hope those comments are helpful! x Elodie


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