Dhanaraj K., Art Teacher, Christel House India
Teaching art in Christel House India has been a valuable experience for me. This is thanks to my students, for they remind me that art pedagogy cannot be confined within the walls of the classroom, rather it goes beyond all conventions. They extended the possibilities of art into a politically creative, socially committed and culturally valued medium. For children, visual art is an artistic, creative and reflective medium to present, represent and critically articulate their everyday lives. I am always delighted to see the creative work of my students and their perceptions of society and their surroundings. The lines, bright colors, shades and reflections, and sometimes even the forms and contents, are in tune with the rhythms of their world. I help to channel these talents more vibrantly and encourage them to explore the possibilities of art as a medium for creative expression.
As part of an extended activity, the students and I worked on a sketchbook exchange project with two schools across the globe. We also successfully finished a project on mural graffiti in Christel House India and in a few government schools as part of a collaboration to try to bring visual art into the public sphere.
For me, joining Christel House India was a significant turning point in my life. For the last 11 years, teaching visual media and taking part in pedagogical exercise has given me a platform to communicate to my students and society at large. It gave me opportunities to meet other artists in this field and learn from them. I am deeply indebted and grateful to Ms. Christel DeHaan and the Christel House India management team for their extended and enormous support, and for giving me the freedom to develop creative art inside and outside the classrooms.