Project: Printmaking – Arkaam
Participants: 30 Year 5 children
Partnering with: Park Road J I & N School
Artist: Shelley Burgoyne
We will be having fun, looking at and considering the Islamic and European number systems. We will be using number games to change actions into images. This will be done through a series of assigned tasks and instructions. The project will link with numeracy activities in the classroom. We also aim to compare and contrast the two numerical systems. The differences are fascinating and the Islamic numbers have a wonderful ornate character. The numbers will change in appearance through the creative layers of the printmaking process. We will be aiming to produce a large printed textile artwork containing elements of the number systems, symmetry, colour and pattern. We will be making small relief prints which will be developed as a larger group image for display in the exhibition. The artwork is planned to be displayed finally in the school entranceway.
Our partner school for the project is Park Road J I & N School – have a look at their project page too.
Session 1: 4th March 2014
We had a really good time looking at the different ways to write numbers in Arabic and English. We worked together to decide how to write our personal numbers for the ‘Changing Game’ design. It was also good to see where our final image would be in the final design. It was tricky at times writing the Arabic Numbers and reversing them. Our personal numbers all link to a formula for a design with numbers in Arabic and English, colour and shape. We especially liked using the light box to do the reversing bit to get our printing blocks ready for printing. We were all really enthusiastic to continue this next time! After we had made our designs we made some more drawings of Arabic and English numbers with patterns and sums like the ones we had used for the banner design. The whole thing was fun. Shelley (artist)
“I liked the part when we drew the pattern on the printing block and also reversed the numbers”
“I loved the activity, it was very fun, I hope we do it again soon. It was like carving”
“My number was 13 and I had to write it in Arabic and English. Then I reversed it”
“I loved experimenting with different patterns as well as writing in another language”
“It’s a new experience to have an artist coming into our class. I loved it. I want to do the printing again”
Session 2: 18th March 2014
We were all very enthusiastic to get on and put our pictures all together. It took a lot of patience and team work. We helped each other as well. Everyone has enjoyed the activity today and showed a lot of commitment and patience. Well done to Y5 again! Shelley (artist)
“We finished our blocks. Then we made new ones with our names and number patterns on. We had to do reversing again. I enjoyed that”
“The best bit was pressing on the paper to make the print really good. I loved doing the printing”
“The big print we made is really beautiful and has got everyone’s parts all together”
“These sessions are really fun – Maths and Art together! For once Maths is fun!”
“When we did the printing it was the best thing of the day!”
Session 3: 3rd April 2014
The session was dynamic! We were all really keen to finish the large printed banner. There were about eight colours left to put into the design in this session and this took quite a bit of group work and helping each other. We also all made extra images of our names, numbers and pattern. There was a lot to do. These were for a border around the design. We had a short ceremony when the last number (23) was added to the design. Everybody waited quietly while it was printed by the student and then we all joined together to cheer and be very happy! It has been fun all round. Shelley (artist)
“Today we finished our amazing and astonishing masterpiece. I was really proud of it”
“I liked the way that Shelley planned this and then we all did it together”
“It was really outstanding doing this and putting all the Arabic and English numbers together”
“It was breathtaking seeing it all. I think everyone felt really proud because we all participated. I can already imagine how it will look on display”
There has been good team work, when looking at symmetry and patterns of shapes and numbers. All the children have enjoyed the printing process. They thought carefully about how to display their arabic number and everyone designed it in their own unique way. We all felt a sense of achievement when the final print was put on to the end product. Zainab Motara (teacher)
Children from our partner school, Park Road J I & N School, sent us some feedback:
“Having looked at the change project website it was great to see how much everyone at Field Lane enjoyed working on this project. It was a really good experience that we at Park Road thoroughly enjoyed taking part in and looking at your photographs and the comments made by the pupils of Field Lane they did too.”
“We had a good time at Cartwright Art Gallery and it was nice for the children of Park Road to get to know some of the children at Field Lane, they found that they had a lot in common.”
“We at Park Road are looking forward to being able to visit the Batley Art Gallery to see both the art that we have created and also the art that Field Lane have completed, I’m sure that we will be able to see some similarities and also some differences within the completed work.”
“We must say many thanks to Shelley for all her hard work and dedication to this change project and for teaching the children many new skills.”
A final word from staff…
The children have enjoyed linking maths and art together. They have had many discussions in their teams about different number systems and looked at the similarities between them. With the Islamic numbers, the children have independently reversed them using their art skills and have thought about symmetry in number, patterns and shapes.
There have been several unplanned benefits for the children. Firstly the children and I enjoyed working with a real artist. We gained information and knowledge on what an artists’ career might entail, and were able to see some examples of Shelley’s work. Secondly children wrote letters to our partner school, so they were writing for a purpose and explaining the work they had done already. And thirdly seeing their work on a website has really motivated the children.
The experience has been very enjoyable. The children were always excited when the artist came in and this created a real buzz in the classroom. We have all been taught new skills, which will be used and shared within the school. The Year 5 children who have taken part will be sharing their skills with younger children in school. The staff working within the class have also learnt new techniques and have seen potential in using these techniques in other areas.