Thursday, 28 November 2013

Animal antics

Wow only three weeks left of school. It can be a tricky time in the art studio. The kids are getting more and more excited and a bit tired too. The weather heats up and they start to droop (so does the teacher sometimes!) Lucky we do have an air cooler - evaporative which makes any pre-cut paper strips curl into tight little springs as I discovered when I pre-cut hundreds of paper strips ready for what was supposed to be a quick activity at the end of the year last year.

Quick activities are what you need at this stage because in reality there are only two more lessons left as the last week will be eaten up with award presentations and graduation assemblies along with special end of year excursions for some classes. This also means that some classes have fewer lessons left than others and there really isn't time to launch into new activities as everything has to be finished AND tidy..... tidy now that IS a trick in an art studio that encourages independence in children and has over 400 students passing through its doors in a week.

So here's one quick fun (not too messy!) activity that stimulates the kids imaginations at the same time!

This week some of the classes have been looking at this painting "School Rules" by William Holbrook Beard

After a discussion about the painting I gave the kids some photocopied animal heads which they cut out and arranged on their paper to create their own pictures of animals dressed as humans doing human like activities.
Here are some from year 4.

Monday, 4 November 2013

A stich in time.

My goodness it has been a while. I must confess I forgot my log name and password, it comes from having too many accounts, log ins and passwords now days! Finally I found my way back in and hope to update our progress a little more regularly.
It is very nearly our centenary open day, and it is getting a little frantic in the art room. We are making Bunting Banners for each class as a way of celebrating our centenary. Way way back last year when the ideas were floating about for what to do someone suggested that we get funding to pay an artist to come in and make a quilt with all the kids. Nice idea but a bit old fashioned I thought and besides textiles are something I enjoy in my own arts practice and I have quite an extensive range of sewing skills myself so I suggested that it was something I could do with the kids myself, that would leave us free to explore having an artist come in to work in a medium that I am not familiar with. As a result we have Kat and Jasper from VJZoo coming in to project the children's art works up onto the rooftops in a very modern contemporary art form. I think it is kind of nice to celebrate the past in a very modern way. More of that in a future post.
(These photos were taken at Art Blast in Fremantle last week)

Now, back to the stitching.
I decided to go with each child stitching a rectangle for a strand of bunting flags which have become very popular in recent years for times of celebration. The UK have used them for years stringing up strands of the Union Jack across the streets on special days, Prayer Banners and flags are also very common in Asian cultures like Nepal and Bali. Even in times past bunting and banners have been used to decorate castles and armies. We looked at these things at the beginning of our project.

And how is it all going? Well they look great so far but the celebration is next week and I have four bunting strands made up. Because of swimming, excursions, theme confusion and sports carnivals along with the normal day to day interruptions and some classes taking way more time than I thought they would and I still have 10 more to sew up! I'm not panicking! ... much!

Each class has worked on a theme that reflects their history research in their classrooms. For example the year ones have looked closely at the home and how day to day things have changed over time. Their bunting flags show old fashioned and modern modes of communication or transport or things used around the home.
One year three class looked at how the local environment has changed over time and their bunting shows native and introduced plants and animals.

The Flags have been made using old recycled uniforms because it represents our school, we are a sustainable one and it is the in thing to reduce reuse and recycle but also as a nod to times past with the thrifty and frugal ways during the depression times and for the 'war effort'

I am looking forward to seeing them all dancing and flapping about in the wind on Saturday as we celebrate 100 years at Palmyra.