Tuesday 19 March 2013

Schools in the Studio : Landscapes Foundation Programme

Recently, Year 1 and 2 students from Parnell District School enthusiastically participated in the gallery and studio sessions of one of our Foundation programmes - Landscapes.

After looking at traditional landscape artworks in the Gallery, we explored Golden Cloud by Gretchen Albrecht. We wondered - could this work be a landscape?

Gretchen Albrecht, Golden Cloud, 1973
acrylic on canvas, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1974

The children initially retorted, 'NO it could not!' But then, on reflection and further observation, some children changed their minds. Perhaps it could be?

'It reminds me of the sea, the sand and the sky...'
'I can see some clouds!'
'It looks like the sunset!

We decided as a group that this was a work that ‘reminded’ us of a landscape we are familiar with. We discovered when Gretchen Albrecht painted Golden Cloud, she was living on the West coast of Auckland.

Back in the studio, inspired by Gretchen Albrecht’s work, we experimented with dye to create an artwork that somehow reminded us of a landscape. We applied two or three bands of colour, then tipped the paper and watched the colours run together.

This reminds me of a landscape.... I can see two people at sunset, land and some strange kind of animal. What can you see?

What parts of the landscape does this artwork remind you of?
What time of day could this be?
How do the colours used make you feel? 

We shared our results and observed the work of others, discussed what we noticed, then tried another painting. This time, we thought about what worked well in our first artwork and what adjustments could be made. We followed the same procedure then blew through a straw to create some interesting effects.

I can see the sun setting behind a forest. What can you see?

We could title this work 'Hydrating Grasses'.
Can you see why I chose this title? Can you think of another title?

Once again, we shared our creations and talked about what parts of the landscape we could see in our work. We even turned the work upside down to see if another part of the landscape appeared and then discussed which way we wanted the final work to go, and why.

Some of the children created a title for their work, to help others understand what part of the landscape the work represented for them.

Thank you Parnell District School for a wonderful day!

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