Some really fun homework tasks this week from my Year 7 students, who've been exploring abstract art. We're sticking to some of the classics - Mondrian, Kandinsky and Miro, just because they're so iconic and there is so much rich material to explore with them. The task was for students to create a Mondrian-inspired composition using any materials other than art materials. There are so many examples of this sort of thing online, from nail art and cake decoration to the famous Yves Saint Laurent dress. I think it helps the students to understand just how widely these artists influence popular culture.
In class, we had some great discussion about the origins of the piece 'Broadway Boogie Woogie' and the students created their own abstract designs based on simplified sections of Hong Kong maps.
I'm uploading a couple of different projects this week, connected (VERY loosely!) by the theme of appropriation, stealing, borrowing or being inspired by others. Something I do pretty much constantly. First are the final pieces from my Year 8 Indigenous Art project, which were completed just before Christmas. These are mixed-media works about 30cm x 100cm in size and have been inspired by the concept of Australian Aboriginal Songlines, which tell stories, chart journeys or provide guidance to travellers. They were initially inspired by some tissue paper collages I saw one morning outside one of the Early Years classrooms at our school and I love the way they've turned out. Thanks to Nicola Lee for the inspiration!
Next up, a classic drawing exercise, which I've seen many times, in different places, but never actually tried myself. Most recently, I came across it in a sketchbook workshop at the ARARTE conference in Chiang Mai last year, which reminded me again to give it a go at some point.
We are introducing a new Year 9 Thematic project this year, based around food initially, but giving the students the option to investigate different aspects of the topic, according to their own interests. To kick off the project with something appealing and attention-grabbing, I brought in some chocolate biscuits and dug out the biro pens.
The idea is simple: we started with a quick 5-minute observational drawing of the whole biscuit, then took a bite before replacing it and making a second 5-minute drawing. The quick pace and the novelty of the subject matter really held the students' attention and I was pleased to see some very well-observed work taking place. I've never heard so little noise from that particular class! In total we made three quick 5-minute studies followed by a final 10-minute drawing. I use this site when doing timed work in class, as it's quick, no-fuss and easy. Thanks to Aimee Zvinakis for the inspiration!