Examples of work from a 2010-2011 Semester 1 project on ‘Work and Industry’.
The Semester 1 Grade 7 art project on ‘Work and Industry’ commenced with the students doing a series of small sketches of an industrial area in Tanggu. Students were encouraged to collect information on the details of the factories they were viewing; the smokestacks, grimy walls, broken windows, greasy pipes. Like many drawing activities this was an opportunity for students to see beyond looking, to discover and know more about the factory scene in front of them. So often, in moving around our environment, we only look to ensure we don’t get hit by a car or bump into a lamp post, but we don’t really know what is around us.
GRADE 7 STUDENTS SKETCHING PART OF INDUSTRIAL TANGGU
With information about the industrial area logged into their sketch books students could plan a painting for an industrial landscape. But, before doing this we looked at the paintings of British artist L.S. Lowry who painted many scenes in the industrial north of England in the first half of the twentieth century, the age of smog, deep heavy smoke and fog that would linger for weeks. Lowry used very few colors in his work.
He said, “ I am a simple man, and I use simple materials: ivory, black, vermilion (red), prussian blue, yellow ochre, flake white………… That’s all I’ve ever used in my paintings.”
L.S. LOWRY ~ INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPE
Basically Lowy used only the 3 primary colors and black & white and that’s what we decided to use for the painting of industrial Tanggu. Students had a chance to experiment a little, mixing these colors to create dirty yellows, burnt oranges, smoky greens and grimy grays. Then, referring to their sketches, students created a composition, drawing in the foreground, middle-ground and background areas of their landscape before painting it using acrylic paint.
Another part of the project on ‘Work & Industry’ involved the students constructing 3-D models of working people inspired by the wood sculptures of Venezuelan artist Marisol. In an endeavor to reproduce the blocky, almost unfinished style of Marisol’s portraits of people the students based their constructions on the use of cardboard boxes. In creating the details of their working people they also had to cut, score, fold and glue pieces of card. As part of the assignment students were also required to create a ‘tool of the trade’ to add to their 3-D piece.
MARISOL ~ WOOD SCULPTURE
To conclude the ‘Work & Industry’ theme students were required to create a card (collograph) print featuring the outline of Jonathon Borofsky’s ‘Hammering Man’. This was a graphics project in which the image was combined with a word to make an inspirational poster focusing on a human virtue associated with work.
JONATHON BOROFSKY ~ HAMMERING MAN, FRANKFURT, GERMANY