Healey J I & N

Project: Changing Perceptions
Participants: 15 Year 4 & 5 children
Partnering with: Hyrstmount Junior
Artist: Damian Clark

We will be looking at the different ways we see and represent things visually and we will use our artists’ journals to record and share our creative discoveries.  We will fill our journals with all the artwork we produce over the weeks of the project.  In the first session with Damian we will make a personalised journal cover representing our individual identity, using mixed media and collage.  In the second session we will be exploring a nature-based theme, Growth and Living, working with collage combined with mixed media and mark making.  In our final session with Damian we will be exploring the idea of ’embellishments’ to tie in with a current theme in school, working with various materials to add the finishing touches to our journals.  At other times we will be working in class on extra pages to add in.  All our journals will form our group artwork for the final exhibition.

Session 1 – 13th February 

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Today we began the journey in creating our artists’ journals.  In this session we focused on making our personalised journal covers.  We started by doing a number of creative experiments using powdered Brusho inks.  In one of the experiments we explored the wax-resist process in which we made invisible marks and text using white oil pastels and wax crayons on white paper, and we watched in amazement as our drawings appeared on the page as we brushed different coloured inks over them.   We then constructed the journal covers by combining our experiments with cuttings of images that we had brought in with us, of things that represented ourselves.  We selected a few of our favourite cuttings and arranged them on the covers and fixed them in place once we were happy with look.  This was an exciting day of discovery for us all and we’re looking forward to our next session together.  Damian – artist

“I liked all of it!  We’ve learnt how to make pictures look good!

“It was exciting because I never knew what was going to happen!”

Session 2 – 6th March

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This was our second session on our journey in creating our artists’ journals.  Today we explored portraits through collage making, but with a big difference, our collages would be made from things found in nature based on our green theme.  First we looked at some paintings by the artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo as inspiration for our pictures and discussed what things from nature we could use for our portraits.  We came up with a whole range of wonderful ideas.  Some thought of using leaves and grass shapes for their faces, while others thought of fruit and vegetables for theirs. We began by drawing an outline of a face onto our paper as a guide for our collage.  We then drew our flora shapes onto various coloured papers and cut them out ready for gluing.  Once we had all of facial features cut out we glued them onto the card and built up our collages. Finally we added details using pens and mixed media colours. We had lots of fun today and discovered a great new way to make portraits.  These fabulous characters will now feature in our journals a part of our amazing journey.  Damian – artist

“It was fun. We got to make a face out of fruit shapes……I really enjoyed it!”

“I liked sticking the fruit shapes on because it was creative”

Session 3 – 20th March

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This was our last session together on our journey in creating our artists’ journals and today we explored the theme of embellishments.  We began by discussing various ways in which we could make our journals more attractive and looked at different materials we could use to achieve this. Everyone was excited at the idea of making our journals look even better.   We started by each selecting a different coloured pen or marker and began to add details to the journals.   Some used gold and silver to enhance their designs, which made a very striking contrast.  Others also added stylised text to complement the pictures. Finally we came to the exciting part of assembling our journals and binding them together. We each choose a favourite piece of ribbon, which we used to thread the pages together, and as a finishing touch we attached beads at the ends of the ribbons.  Our day was over all too quickly and although it was sad to come to the end, it was brilliant to see our wonderful journals finally come together.  The class will now continue their creative journey and over the next few weeks will continue to explore and record its wonders in their amazing artists’ journals.  Damian – artist

“I’ve enjoyed doing the details and making it look better!”

“It’s really fun…I liked all the art things we’ve been doing!”

I’ve really enjoyed doing it all… but sad that we can’t continue doing more art with you”

A final word from the staff:

“One of the added benefits of the project for us was that it involved the children in ‘pyramid learning’, as the children who took part in the workshops then went back to whole classes and became ‘experts’  so that others could also learn from the experience.  Another is that it has allowed two teachers to experience art ideas and concepts that were unfamiliar to them or perhaps a bit scary with a full class!  We are going to build the journal project into our long term planning so that it can be developed in years to come.

We’d definitely like more!  It was super to have a local artist having such a positive impact in an area of school that can often be overlooked in favour of literacy and numeracy, and enabling children to have such an organic, ideas- not outcome-based project.  It really allowed the children to experiment and see what worked for them, with some surprising results. Who’d have thought the mopping up paper towels would have created art in itself?!!!”

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