Fieldhead Primary Academy

Project: Digital Art – Abstract Aspects
Participants: 28 Year 4 children
Partnering with: Warwick Road J I & N School
Artist: Lucy Bergman

We will be exploring our changing identity using film, photographs and collage.  During our project we will be thinking about who we are, what we look like, how we feel and what we’d like to be.  We will learn how to use camcorders in order to capture personal and aspirational statements about ourselves and each other.  We’ll also work in pairs to take photographs of one another’s faces and create tessellated and layered portraits, through which we will learn about mathematical abstraction.  For the exhibition we will be producing large collages and possibly an animated film.

Our partner school for the project is Warwick Road J I & N School – have a look at their project page too.

Session 1: 4th February 2014

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We had a great group discussion about different kinds of ‘change’ to get our first session rolling.   Then we settled into small groups to compose interview questions to ask each other that would highlight our changing tastes and feelings etc.  Each pair or small group of children had a camcorder so they could interview each other and capture the answers on film.  After the interviews the children took close-up photographs of the various details on one another’s faces.  These will be used to create abstract self-portrait collages next week.  It was great to see the children interacting and gradually feeling more and more comfortable focussing on each other in order to learn new things and notice details.  Lucy (artist)

Session 2: 11th February 2014

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Well the time really flew by this morning, we had such a lot of fun making our mixed-up portraits!  We started our session off by looking at some of Andy Warhol’s work and also some tessellated patterns from ancient Islamic designs.  This really helped everyone to open their minds to creating abstract and playful work.  All the children had a selection of close-up self-portrait images to work with.  We traced some images and cut others up and the children used the various bits of their faces to create spectacular collages.  Lucy (artist)

“Today was so fun, we aren’t normally allowed to cut up photos or use tracing paper in class so it was something different”

“My drawing came out really good, much better than I thought I could do”

Session 3: 11th March 2014

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A fantastical mathematical day today!  We started the session learning about tessellation and which kind of familiar shapes tessellate.  We focussed on equilateral triangles and everyone learnt how to draw them using a protractor to get the angles perfect.  The children then cut out the triangles to use as templates for their self-portraits.  So using the templates the children carefully started to draw tessellating triangles on the photographs of their faces. Next the photos will be carefully cut up into equilateral triangles to create abstract tessellation collages for the exhibition.  Lucy (artist)

“It was a bit hard to understand how to draw an equilateral triangle at first but I enjoyed using the protractor”

“It was fun drawing on top of my photograph, we aren’t normally allowed to do things like that”

A final word from staff…

Our children had great discussion about how their lives had changed so far and where they thought they would be in the future. They thought of questions they would like to know about each other and then used camcorders to interview each other about their lives. All the equipment was provided by the artist and the children showed respect for this and each other when using it. Overall the children were introduced to areas of the curriculum that they had not previously encountered and were ‘thrilled’ to be using different kinds of technology. This has prompted a discussion within school about whether we should have enough equipment within school for children to use for different areas of the curriculum.

Emma-Jayne Best