Since our return to school, there has been a lot going on in the Art Department. A few of our pupils have entered the Royal Academy Young Artists’ Competition and are hoping to be selected. Entering the competition is a huge achievement and we wish them well.
It has also been good to hear that many pupils have experimented with more creative ideas and techniques than ever. These have been shared with their peers during class. ‘The Creative Hub’ has now been set up on Teams for pupils to share their ideas by uploading images and videos.
Being back in the art room, has been an immersive experience for all Vinehall artists. There is nothing quite like being with your friends, getting clay under your fingernails during a ceramic lesson, or realising you have a colourful smudge on your face after experimenting with paint.
During this Summer term for Year 2-6 the theme is ‘The Environment’, with a focus on the honeybee. Each year group has started to study a different aspect of this vast topic and they are also examining the visual elements of line, shape, form, texture, value and colour.
Year 7 are working on the school theme of ‘Equality and Rights’ during their CADT lessons.
Last term the Year 8s worked for a couple of weeks on their Stop Motion Studio animation movies, continuing on from their remote learning, on the theme of animation. They were asked to study storyboard their ideas on the theme of ‘Revolution’ and to upload the app.
Year 7 CADT
During lockdown, the Year 7s have been working with the DT department designing their guitars. This theme has been carried over so that the Year 7 pupils can realise their ideas. The Art department are now continuing with this musical theme, combining it with the theme of ‘Equality and Rights’. The pupils are using the grid method to scale up their chosen image of a musical icon, whilst understanding the origin of the word ‘cartoon’. They have prepared their image using Photoshop to discard any colour and to separate tonal values. The idea is to produce an impactful piece containing the lyrics of the artist’s song and for the viewer to do a double-take on an image within an image.
Year 6 CADT
As with Year 7, pupils in Year 6 had the opportunity during lockdown to design pieces at home which would then be created back in school. As part of their CADT project, the pupils created an image inspired by mechanical objects or natural form; a few pupils challenged themselves by producing images with a fusion of both elements. The final aim was to create an interactive art piece, with a frame made in DT and sounds created in IT using a device called a ‘Makey Makey’. The pupils added copper strips and graphite to their image, to create an electrical circuit.
They are now experimenting with different gauges of wire, with a view to creating a Steam Punk inspired bee. Their aspect of the topic is ‘Form’.
As part of their cultural art studies, the Year 5s have created their green ceramic person and have now moved onto the key theme of ‘Landscape’ as part of the Summer theme of the environment and the honeybee. Their aspect of the topic is ‘Texture’. They have been producing torn paper landscapes using hues from the cooler side of the colour spectrum, whilst imagining only being able to see in ultra-violet light; also avoiding red. They have taken their understanding of working in layers into felting, working with merino wool to create felted landscapes.
Embedding their knowledge of colour theory, the Year 4s have finished their vibrant cake sculptures in celebration of returning to school. This project is multi-layered as it has linked to their maths lessons on fractions and embedded the overriding theme of community, with pupils linking their ideas to their pieces and considering the whole design.
Their new topic is Pattern and discovering ways to make a pattern from studying the honeybee in detail, whether they use the silhouette of the bee or the intricate design of the wing. This work is inspired by the French textile designer, Eugene Seguy.
During remote learning the pupils were encouraged to react to music, drawing without a care in the world. We took this idea further by playing ‘The Flight of the Bumblebee’. The pupils used a long piece of paper to take their oil pastel on a journey, imagining the bee dipping in and out of different flowers and using the line to express the movement of the bee. They practised the ‘wet on wet’ watercolour and the wax resist technique, whilst judging colour intensity combined with refined brush control. The pupils know that we invariably use A4 and A3, so we turned things on their head and joined several A4 pieces together to create a different format.
Their aspect of the topic is Colour. We are looking at fruit and flowers as our inspiration for the design of our flip flops. A big thank you to Ms Everist for showing the pupils her lovely sketchbooks and inspiring them to be adventurous.
Year 2 topic is also looking at ‘The Environment’ for inspiration and again their focus is on the honeybee. They are dipping their toes in as many of the different visual elements as possible and reflecting not only on their own work but the work of their peers for inspiration.
We have now come full circle and everything comes back to inspiration.