Project: Mixed Media – Facing East
Participants: Year 5 pupils
Partnering with: Fieldhead Primary
Artist: Fiona Goodwin
Science topic: Materials and their Properties
Our chosen Science topic is Materials and Their Properties. We will look at how light and colour change in the landscape around us throughout the course of the day, using the windows in our workspace as view finders. We’ll be observing the surrounding landscape and exploring light, colour, framing and composition. Through our creative activities we’ll also be investigating the light and colour properties of different materials and how these can change in different circumstances. For our final artwork, the changing nature of the landscape will be reflected in a series of 2D/3D window panels designed to link our worlds outside and inside.
What a view…..fourteen different views in fact! We’ve established ourselves as ‘viewfinder’ pairs – binoculars we are, carefully looking and monitoring changes through our windows. We’ve selected and photographed our views, our inspiration, we’re facing east and observing our changing landscape – shifts in colour, clarity, changes throughout the day, and so on. We’ve started to monitor these already and diarise them using some fabulous visual language. We’re gathering information to fuel our experiments in the next sessions, by looking for translucent, opaque and transparent qualities around us. We’ve written a lot already and enjoyed reading our diaries to each other. There’s a lot to scrutinise and think about, it’s all very exciting.
“The sky is white, it goes on forever, the sky is like it has been enchanted”
“The trees look like monsters in a fairy tale, the birds look like mini aeroplanes flying in the milky white sky”
“Plain like a desolate sky”
Another great session full of energy and excitement as we’re focusing now on our views and generating surfaces to use as collaged elements. Our reference images have increased in size to almost A1, our view is much larger now, there’s much more detail to put in and observations and analysis to be made. We’re experimenting with materials, creating textures that mimic and reflect the changing nature of our landscape, carefully selecting materials, paper, thread, feathers, fibres, to give us the broad range of marks we see, and creating palettes to work with in our groups. Part of our working process is to try and capture the changes we observe in the landscape beyond looking at the shifting quality of light – translucent, opaque, transparent – so that we can incorporate some of these observations into our pieces. We’re taking care to note down our discoveries as diaries as our writing may feature as part of our final artwork. The pieces should grow quite quickly next session as we build and layer up our final designs. There’s a real buzz and sense of teamwork, and fun.
“It was very creative and fun, I had never done anything like it before, I want to do it again!”
“I didn’t know you could use a laminator and make these interesting things”
“It was enjoyable and interesting, I really liked it because it was so creative”
Our final session was fabulous. It was good to be back in the space that we started from, with the views that have inspired us in order to create the pieces that will eventually find a permanent home there. The weather was perfect! We were able to witness the constantly changing shifts in light quality as we faced east. We began by responding to the A1 spontaneous drawings we’d framed in front of us, carefully tracing our designs using carbon paper to transfer them onto our palettes of marks and colours, articulating mazes of branches and tranquil billowing clouds. This was really going to put our cutting skills to the test, as some of our shapes were really quite intricate and quite difficult to cut out, and some needed a lot of imagination as the edges weren’t clearly defined. We quickly realised that we were able to layer surfaces in order to create the effects we were after, highlighting the subtle differences between the translucent, transparent and opaque layers we’ve experimented with. There were some fantastic results and we finished the session with pride at what we’d achieved in the time. There’s still some work to be done but we’re confident and happy to be carrying on for an extra week or so to get them finished. It will be wonderful to finally see them all together again as a collection.