31st March 2017
Aim: Create our self-portraits from what we look like both on the inside and outside.
We were not actually doing Cubist style self-portraits but as the self-portraits are going to become the side of the cubes I thought that I could play with this title. Again for this session we stayed seated and were not going to pull and drag the furniture about.
I had been sending a selection of portraits by artists all week to the children to get them thinking about different ways to present ourselves. This session should have happened the previous week but the children’s lives are extra busy at present as they are making their first confession and communion this year. As the children were going to be spending more time in the church I asked them to look around the church. I am particularly interested in the stained glass. My own practice centres on belief and the spaces in where we congregate together whilst at prayer or being a community together. I would like to learn and understand more about the children’s perception of their experience. This potentially could develop into a piece of work together using belief and faith as our starting point.
The previous day the children had had a very special day. They had made their first confession and afterwards they spent the day celebrating with their families. As a gift Ms Harriott did not give any of the children homework but she did ask that they did a little practice and to draw a family member.
The session started with the children telling me about the events of the previous day. A day they thoroughly enjoyed and will remember. They also showed me the portraits of family members. It was clear that they had spent a lot of times observing and drawing their sitters. They are very able to accurately capture the proportions really well even only after such a short period of time working on portraits.
Unfortunately I was unable to show access the whiteboard and could not show the class the images of the stained glass Ms Harriott had sent me. I knew the children would be familiar with these images but I wanted to refresh their memories. The colours are based on shapes and each pieces uses a limited pallet. I had also wanted to show the children the portraits created by artists again to refresh their memories and give them some ideas about how to portray someone.
However we quickly started on a couple of quick sketches before we moved onto drawing directly onto the acetate. I had to give specific instructions in how to hold the overhead markers as they can make quite a considerable mess. The children took to the task in hand and produced some beautiful drawings. Once the drawings were completed the children were invited to use the different types of coloured cellophane and contact to create a colouful addition to their work using patterns, symmetry and designs that are NOT what the face looks like normally. Again I had hoped to show the children the examples of the artists portraits but I did not have control of the whiteboard so the children took the lead themselves. The transparent cellophane can be quite difficult to cut so the children did not over detail the work. Thankfully the colours were strong so I was able to see the results when the children took their work to the camera to show me. Ms Harriott said once the colour was added the original drawings were lost in the background hence she will ask the children to rework the drawings with a thicker black marker.
For session ten our aim will be to complete the cubes by attaching the self-portraits to the sides and creating a drawing mapping their route to school on the base. We are also discussing the possibility of another site visit the following week. As we had been building domes I thought about creating an outdoor dome that would grow as the children grow. Just I was thinking about such an idea someone offered me lots of willow cuttings that can be planted this year and shaped into a dome next year or at least the beginning of one.