Bringing colour to the classroom

A fascinating aspect of working with colleagues from other countries is the opportunity we have not only to learn about their ideas and working practices, but also to observe subtle differences in relation to aspects of their everyday lives. Our appreciation of this is greatly enhanced when amongst the observers is a friend who has the trained eye of an artist and who notices variations in pattern and, texture and shape that many of us may overlook.

Indian pattern 2

So it has been that this week with the visit of students to Northampton from our MA programme in Bangalore. Jean Edwards, the artist whose work and blog I have mentioned on previous occasions ( has kindly joined us during some of the week’s activities and has been interested in the beautiful patterns to be seen in some of the fabrics worn by our visitors.

Indian pattern 1

Such features are difficult to capture with words, and even challenge the photographer’s lens, but can be clearly depicted through the skilled use of pencils and colours when in the hands of an artist such as Jean. The patterns presented here were gathered quickly and unobtrusively as our students engaged in a range of activities and represent a brief moment of time captured to remind us of the occasion. Seeing these pictures I am reminded of the intense light and vibrant colours of the Bangalore markets which can overwhelm the senses of the visitor from outside of India. Anyone from my own country who has visited India will, I feel sure recall the shock of colour, smell and noise that appears to dominate the first few days in an Indian city.

Indian pattern 3

I am grateful to Jean who has given up some of her time this week to join us, and recognising that my words are inadequate to convey the fascination of the patterns that she has captured, I will write no more, but leave you to enjoy her contribution to this page. So thank you to all of our students for bringing colour into our classrooms, and to Jean for providing us with a permanent reminder of the occasion.