Project: Collaborative Mark-Making – Light Trails II
Participants: Year 7 students
Partnering with: BBEC
Artist: Fabric Lenny
Science topic: Light
Using the theme of Light as a starting point we will explore the relationship between objects and shadows through a series of collaborative and playful drawing activities which will transform the classroom environment into a mini art lab. We’ll be working collaboratively as we experiment with a variety of art materials, light sources, projectors, and iPads to explore the relationship between light and shadow, black and white and positive and negative. Throughout the project we will collectively explore a variety of traditional drawing techniques whilst seeking out interesting ways of making marks, rendering shapes and creating patterns using light and shadow. Our project will mirror the project at Batley Girls’ High School, so that we have opportunities to share and compare our creative journeys and see the different results that emerge from similar creative processes.
Today we had an introductory lesson with artist Fabric Lenny. The Science topic we are looking at is Light. The session was all about experimentation and play. We tried out lots of new art materials and techniques, worked collaboratively, looked at examples of Fabric Lenny’s work, drew with continuous line, explored negative space image making (we called this ‘jigsaw drawing’), worked together on mirror drawings and finished off with ambidextrous and non-dominant hand drawing. It was so cool. There was a buzz in the room and everyone made some top work. We made lots of weird characters in black and white using wax and wash, Japanese brush pens, watercolour pencils and Berol pens. We really hope the next session is as good.
“Today was the best Art lesson I ever had. Fabric Lenny said my work was great, which made me very happy. I hope the next lesson will be as great as this one. I loved this lesson” Abubakr
“At first I was not too keen to do this kind of project, but further into the lesson I got into it and have tried my best to make a good piece of work, and am happy about it” Haider
“Today has been phenomenal! I have learnt a lot and its been really enjoyable. Fabric Lenny is a great role model. Today was AWESOME!” Dangaal and Haroon
“I had a real good time. It was so exciting. We used different kinds of materials such as wax, felt pens, broad pens and water pens” Ibrahim
“Today I have learnt that little things make a big difference” Junaid
During this session we focused on bulbs. We drew individually and collectively from a range of light bulbs. We worked from observation and from our imaginations. We used torches to cast shadows and created large scale pattern work. We used a range of water-based materials to create our imagery. In addition to the materials used in session one we used Indian Ink, Posca pens and willow sticks. It was all about experimentation and working together. Although it did get rather messy, it was great fun and we have started a range of exciting works which we will hopefully complete in the final session.
“Today’s session was extremely fun. When we were drawing the bulbs it was actually extremely challenging”
“We learnt that some light bulbs contain mercury vapor gas, which is illuminated by the flow of electricity”
“Working together on a large scale was challenging but fun”
“Blowing the Indian Ink was magnificently amazing”
Today’s session was pretty tough. We had four large-scale mixed media drawings to complete, and each one was bigger than human scale. We brought all the techniques that we had used in previous sessions together to make imagery full of texture, pattern, tone and light and dark. The central imagery of bulbs remained from week two, but we added to these looking at negative space and creating new patterns, shapes and characters. The drawings are now dense with marks, areas of wash and pattern. We added finishing touches with Posca pens, and now look forward to seeing our work exhibited at Batley Art Gallery.
“I really enjoyed the workshop today. It was fun using the different types of pens and mark-making tools”
“We had to really concentrate today because we had to make up for lost time to get our pieces finished to a high standard”
“It was a cool session today because we finished the work and it now looks amazing. I am very proud of the work we have done. It has been enjoyable to make work inspired by light with Fabric Lenny”
Working with Fabric Lenny was an experience for both staff and students – a highly skilled practitioner in his field and oozing with imagination, which the students enjoyed and embraced wholeheartedly. In session 2 the students experienced working in the dark using light bulbs to access the work in progress. The room was blacked out and they drew around the negative shadow images this process gave – a fantastic experience!