Warwick Road J I & N School

Project: Digital Art – Building Blocks
Participants: 30 Year 5 children
Partnering with: Fieldhead Primary Academy
Artist: Lucy Bergman

We will be combining photography, collage and 3D sculpture in our project, which will focus on comparing the differences and changes in the local natural and residential environments.  Using Op Art (or Optical Art) as inspiration we will collect a number of different photographs featuring close-up details found in the local environment.  We will also capture panoramic views that show the beauty and diversity of the local landscape.  We’ll then draw up and cut out two cube nets each, which we’ll form into small boxes.  Using our photos and also black and white Op Art patterns, we will choose 6 images for each side of each cube to create individual picture cubes.  When everyone’s cubes are displayed together the result will be a large, interchangeable, tactile landscape to be displayed in the exhibition.

Our partner school for the project is Fieldhead Primary Academy – have a look at their project page too.

Session 1: 28th January 2014

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We had a great session today and the rain miraculously stopped just in time for us to all to go outside and snap some photos. We began the session by having a great conversation about changes in the local environment and how the school building, streets and demographic have changed in the last hundred years.  We also talked about David Hockney’s artwork and in particular his photo composite images, which the children had looked at previously.  We split the class into two groups and handed out cameras.  One group initially went outside the school gates and looked closely at the school building from the surrounding streets.  The second group stayed inside the school gates but explored the outer areas surrounding the play areas.  Both groups focussed on the differences between the new and old parts of the building, such as looking at how the old stone is darker and weathered whereas the new stone is lighter and has sharper edges.  The children had a great time focussing their attention on their school building and exploring all the shapes, nooks and textures.  Lucy (artist)

Session 2: 4th March 2014

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The first task for today’s session was to carefully cut out two cube templates each.  These nets make a cube measuring 9 x 9 x 9 cms.  We then carefully scored the parts of the net which will be folded. After this we had a quick chat about Op and Pop Art and how we could create some striking collages to add to our finished cubes.  The children each chose two squares of card in contrasting bright colours and created two beautiful abstract designs using different shapes that will be fixed onto two sides of one of their cubes. The children have two cubes each so they were able to choose two different colours to create collages for their second cube. It was interesting to see how each child approached their work. The children weren’t given much direction, to encourage them to be experimental with their designs while also having certain constraints to work within. As you can see from the pictures, the designs are fabulous!  Lucy (artist)

“There’s been so much to do, I’ve been really busy but I don’t want it to stop”

“I was frustrated because we could only use two colours but now I’m glad because my squares look really good, they really stand out”

“Today went by too fast, I’ve really enjoyed it”

Session 3: 25th March 2014

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Well we were all rushed off our feet today, busy as bees making wonderful art!  There was a little repetition of the previous session as we needed to complete more coloured card designs for the cube nets, but the children knew what to expect this time and really hit the ground running.  After everyone had completed their Op Art inspired squares I handed out the photographs they had taken of the building taken during our first session.  We trimmed these into squares so they would perfectly fit onto the cube nets and the children decided how to compose them before gluing them down onto their nets. I gathered up all the beautiful nets at the end of the session and I’m really looking forward to the children seeing the final results once they’ve been folded up and fixed into cubes.  Very exciting!  Lucy (artist)

“Today was brilliant because I got to do things I’ve never done before”

“It was exciting to glue stuff onto our nets. It’s the first time my work is ever going in an art exhibition”

“It was really fun – but the best bit is that our work will go in a gallery”

“It was interesting- we normally do flat work but this time it will be 3D”

A final word from staff…

The work we did supported Maths work in shape, space and measure, especially when considering the properties of 3d shape – we worked from 2d nets to create a series of 3d cubes. The children really enjoyed applying their knowledge in a creative and unusual way. The topic has been revisited since then and children have referred to their learning during the project, when re-visiting earlier learning.

The project also made the children think a bit more about the built environment around them; not just its appearance but the texture and feel of the materials around us, how things change over time, and how materials weather and erode.

I’ve worked with Lucy on two successive projects now and I’m  very, very happy with the work she’s done and how well she’s responded to the identified needs of the children. We’d been doing some previous work on Bridget Riley’s op art and David Hockney’s photo ‘joiners’. It was really good to incorporate and build on the work we’d done. We think we’ve done something really original and exciting and we’re all really pleased with it!

Jonathan Hughes