Friday, 26 May 2017

Clay Head Grotesques

This session began with an exploration of the 'grotesque' in art work from various medias. Students looked at images and artefacts from Hieronymus Bosch, Diane Arbus and Kris Kuksi. These pieces led to lively discussions about what the idea of grotesque might actually mean. Young people quickly came to  realise that 'ugliness' and 'beauty' aren't quite as opposite as we sometimes think.

A practical activity involving air dry clay was then introduced. The images below are some of the artefacts that were created.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Totem Poles

Totem Poles are created by many of the North American native tribes, and are usually situated close to the homes of prominent families. They often serve  the purpose of telling a visual family history through symbolism, shape, markings and colour. They possess a striking visual presence and people of all cultures and background can respond very strongly to them.

I often use totem poles as a prompt for educational and therapeutic activity. They can provide great insight into the ways of an ancient but still active culture.As a discussion point, they seldom fail to get people talking about what the various symbols might mean. When people are given the opportunity to create their own totem pole, they often create highly distinct, powerful, intriguing artefacts.

The following pieces were made from air dry clay and painted in tempera.