"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I acknowledge, with deep respect, that I am gathered on Treaty 7 territory. I acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. I respect the histories, languages and cultures all the Indigenous peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our community.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Andy Goldsworthy Nature Inspired Project

This is a Grade 11 project inspired by the work of one of my all-time favourite artists, Andy Goldsworthy.

From Wikipedia:

Andy Goldsworthy, is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist producing site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings.

The materials used in Andy Goldsworthy's art often include brightly-coloured flowers, icicles, leaves, mud, pinecones, snow, stone, twigs, and thorns. For his ephemeral outdoor works, Goldsworthy often uses only his bare hands, teeth, and found tools to prepare and arrange the materials.

"I enjoy the freedom of just using my hands and "found" tools--a sharp stone, the quill of a feather, thorns. I take the opportunities each day offers: if it is snowing, I work with snow, at leaf-fall it will be with leaves; a blown-over tree becomes a source of twigs and branches. I stop at a place or pick up a material because I feel that there is something to be discovered. Here is where I can learn. "

Goldsworthy regards his creations as transient, or ephemeral. He photographs each piece once right after he makes it. His goal is to understand nature by directly participating in nature as intimately as he can.
  "Each work grows, stays, decays – integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its heights, marking the moment when the work is most alive. There is an intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image. Process and decay are implicit."

You can see more photos of his work at his website here.

Before I begin this project, I show students photos of his work on the whiteboard and then show an excerpt from his stunning DVD entitiled "Rivers and Tides".  The video shows Goldsworthy at work, in nature, creating various pieces. Some of the most interesting parts are when his creations 'fail', and he just sighs, sits for a while and then starts all over. It's a great point of discussion for the idea of 'not giving up' and learning how to just simply move on from any setbacks or frustrations.

Students were asked to create a work of art, using any media and subject matter, but it needed to incorporate some natural materials. Ideally, you would want to do an outdoor installation and photograph them, but these students needed the work for their portfolios and year end exhibition.
Here are some of the results:

This student enjoyed drawing portraits. So she created an 'earth, wind, fire and water' type of composition incorporating feathers, raffia, twigs and sand.

sketchbook practice from a photo reference

This student was working with the idea of Rock 'n' Roll, so she created a pair of Ray Bans out of cardboard, painted them and then collaged pressed flowers she had collected into a landscape-type composition. 

This student created a stylized portrait using oatmeal for the skin and incorporated leaf prints
into the painted hair.

She practised leaf printing in her sketchbook ahead of time to work out the right colours.

A charming collage she created in her sketchbook using pressed leaves and flowers.

Overall, I was impressed with the variety of creative solutions the students came up with in incorporating natural elements into their art work.


Dolunay -Alanayarts said...

çalışmalar muhteşem olmuş.öğrencilerinizi ve sizi tebrik ediyorum.çok beğendim hepsinide..

Chesterbrook Academy Elementary said...

Your students did a fantastic job creating in the style of Andy Goldsworthy.

I love the variety of the projects in interpreting the work of the artist.

Bravo to your students for the quality of the execution.

Phyl said...

These are fabulous! What original interpretations of Goldsworthy's work!

Miss said...

Thank you all!

Soni said...

wowowow absolutely love this ... check out the nature art activity my kids did ...


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