Packwood Haugh - day and boarding school for 4-13 year old boys and girls
Packwood Haugh - day and boarding school for 4-13 year old boys and girls

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A Journey of Discovery in Packwood Art

Excitement and enjoyment permeate our Packwood Art lessons, as students explore diverse art forms and techniques, each year group delving into a unique creative journey filled with discovery and self-expression. Art is not just a subject, but an avenue for cultivating imagination, honing skills, and fostering a deeper understanding of culture and history.

Year 3 are looking at the work of Yayoi Kusama and are creating pieces inspired by her spotty installations, paintings and sculptures. They have been learning new techniques such as mono-printing and embossing on tin foil to help improve their pen control. In the final stages of the project, they will design and make a pumpkin sculpture out of papier-mâché.

Year 4 are looking at Aboriginal Art this term and have created striking dot paintings of turtles and geckos using cotton buds. We have also worked outside the classroom and collected branches from the woodlands to create our very own aboriginal clapping sticks, which we stripped of leaves and painted. The students have also made a Koala painting by following a step-by-step demonstration. Painting together with the teacher helped the students understand the stages of painting such as underpainting, midtones, shadows and highlights. Students are working towards designing and making a boomerang, using mod rock and painting it with the traditional dot techniques.

Year 5 have been creating works about Ancient Egypt. They have produced metallic embossed scarab beetles using tin foil and pens to blend and paint on the surface. They have also produced old papyrus drawings of ancient Egyptian deities and researched these. They are beginning to design their own ancient Egyptian jewellery pieces, which they will make using wire, cardboard and foam and then finally make a mask of Tutankhamun from papier-mâché.

Year 6 are looking at artworks from Asia and have produced beautiful cherry blossom scroll paintings inspired from woodblock prints by Japanese artist, Tsuchiya Koitsu. They made these by blowing Indian ink through straws to create branches, which they then decorated with pink acrylic blossom. This technique is unpredictable and encourages the children to become more experimental with their materials. They have also learnt about the fable of the two doves and have painted a willow pattern design on a paper plate. Students are working towards designing and making their own Ming Vase out of papier-mâché.

The Year 7 project compares traditional and contemporary African masks and encourages children to have important conversations regarding repatriations and discuss whether European and American museums should return artefacts. They have researched contemporary sculptor, Romuald Hazoume’s Petrol Can Masks and produced dramatic tonal studies of his works. They have also looked at different styles of masks from other countries in Africa such as Teke Moon Masks from the Republic of Congo and produced a pastel drawing of them. They will go on to design and make their own Teke moon mask from terracotta clay.

Year 8 are studying portraiture this term and are taking inspiration from Chuck Close’s photorealistic portraits. Close rose to fame in the late 60s for his large scale hyper realistic works, however in 1988, Close suffered from a blood clot in his spine which left him paralyzed from the neck down. After a few years, he regained a small amount of movement in his arm and began to paint again by strapping a paintbrush to his hand. He painted portraits using the grid method, painstakingly painting each square at a time. This term we are using the grid method to paint our own self-portraits, like Close. At the start of the term, we created a collaborative portrait of ‘Phill’ a painting by Chuck Close. Each student was given a square to draw and at the end of the lesson we joined them all together to make a class portrait. Students have also created inspiration pages, were they painted a pastiche of his work, in preparation for their own self portrait studies.