Welcome to Arts Week 2023!
This year our Arts Week was inspired by Henri Rousseau’s Surprised! Henri Rousseau was a self-taught artist who was absolutely fascinated by the jungle and its wildlife despite never having seen any! Although Rousseau was not always appreciated in his own time, we had an absolutely brilliant time during Arts Week creating our own masterpieces inspired by his magnificent work!
Nursery have made some fabulous Tiger collages based on the Picture by Rousseau. They had to decide what the weather was like in their picture and how the tiger felt.
In Reception the children enjoyed making tiger faces using a range of different materials and resources including crayons, coloured paper, stamps and paper plates. At the easel some children enjoyed using the poster paints to paint their own versions of, ‘Surprised.’ With the help of a Reception mum the children used brightly coloured air dry clay to make tiny jungle animal models.
In Year 1, the children enjoyed making a range of different artworks inspired by Rousseau. The children created dragonflies using lollipop sticks inspired by the book There’s a Tiger in the Garden. They also created portraits of tigers using collage techniques.
The children were fascinated by camouflage and explored the concept with the help of a Parent volunteer, who showed the children how to hide a frog in their drawings! They also created brilliant A3 pictures of turtles who camouflaged into the background! They used oil pastels to create the brilliant geometric designs.
Year 2 made fantastic tiger pictures using oil pastels and card with a parent voluneteer. They also had to draw a tiger in detail. Another task they completed was exploring camouflage, hiding animals in their art work.
The highlight for Year 2 was doing Indian Block Printing in order to design and create their very own t-shirts!
In Year 3 Nichols, the children enjoyed painted shoe boxes and using different materials to make dioramas of a jungle scene. They also made simple mosaic art using coloured pencils and magazine pages based on animal patterns.
In Year 3 Lear, the children started off by drawing ‘Surprised’ by using our non-dominant and the results were impressive. Next, they moved on to a trickier activity where we had to try and draw Rousseau’s work without looking down which was lots of fun. For their next activity we took a closer look at the tiger and had lots of fun learning lots of facts about tiger and their patterns. They then used this information to create our own tiger patterns. Staying with the tiger theme, their next activity involved looking closely at tiger faces and then drawing and painting our own. There are some very realistic tiger heads floating around 3 Lear as we speak. Our final activity involved drawing our own version of ‘Surprised’ and using old magazines to collage it. The final pieces of all the children’s work are amazing!
In 4 Rosen, activities included making jungle and tiger-themed pieces of art, such as jungle collages, free-standing tigers, leaves and book covers for a new version of ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea.’ They were also fortunate enough to be visited by Marina, one of our class parents, and her parent, Gail, who led the class in a wonderful session where they created mixed media versions of Rousseau’s painting. The children also created their own tiger masks, inspired by the Japanese franchise ‘Tiger Mask’. Finally, they also created their own Haikus inspired by Rousseau’s painting.
In 4 Bloom, they started the week on Tuesday look at some of some work on Rousseau’s famous theme of a jungle, including cholate growing in South America and Western Africa! Using the painting for inspiration, the children created 3D rainforest pictures! They also made haikus, abstract animal artwork and tiger masks.
Year 5 tried their hand at Collagraphing, which is a form of print making, to recreate the foreground in the painting, ‘Surprise!’
They then used different pencils to create a tonal still life drawing of a leaf. The children also tried drawing tigers and using collage to camouflage an animal. The children enjoyed using different kinds of media and learning about Rousseau.
Year 6 had a jam-packed week of activities! The children had their first ever experience of block printing. Inspired by ‘Surprised!’ they selected or re-imagined an element from the painting, which they then pressed into a styrofoam tile, before covering with ink/paint and making half a dozen impressions, with some tremendous results.
They welcomed Adam MG who works in the film industry. Using a clip from Nanny McPhee (2005) the movie with Emma Thompson that he worked on, and led by the children’s questions, Adam chatted to explain all of the various roles that are open to people who might want to work in this creative sector.
Finally, they created with origami leaves and roses, followed by a traditional ‘still life’.
The fun of Arts Week couldn’t be contained to just one week in Year 6, as the children created traditional Tiger Masks, which they then wore to Kew Gardens on their trip the following week!
This year the artist was Fahrelnissa Zeid who was a Turkish princess who sadly has not received the recognition that she should have for her incredible works of art and the part she played in the art world in the 1900s. She is most famous for her enormous, kaleidoscopic abstract expressionist paintings and her stylised portraits.
The children in Nursery had a great week learning all about colours. We learnt how to mix primary colours into secondary ones and made beautiful paintings the new colours we created. We looked at the work of Fahrelnissa Zeid and made self portraits based on her work.
In Reception the children have been inspired by the Blue Mosque in Turkey, the birth place of Fahrelnissa Zeid. They looked closely at photos of the mosque and identified the different shapes they could see. They then used different collage techniques to create pictures of mosques. They tore different coloured paper from magazines and they also drew around 2D shapes and arranged them carefully to form mosque like shapes. Inspired by the beautiful blue and white tiles often found in countries where there are large Muslim communities, the children used potatoes with different shapes cut out of them to print their own tiles. They also enjoyed using masking tape to create abstract shapes on their paper and painted these different shapes with bold paints before carefully removing the masking tape to recreate some of Zeid’s large scale abstract paintings. Finally the children decorated moons and stars with paint and sponges and embellished them by wrapping rainbow wool around them.
Using the vibrant work of Fahrelnissa Zeid as inspiration, Year 1 have created eye-catching mosques out of coloured card and stained glass windows using tissue and tracing paper. They also focused on Zeid’s statement fashion and jewellery choices, designing their own clothes out of bits of textured paper and making chunky beaded bracelets and necklaces. Finally, they were tasked with designing their own Islamic tiles, thinking about symmetry and worked as a team to put together large A3 collages made up of different shapes.
After learning all about Fahrelnissa Zeid and her colourful life which spanned many different cultures and experiences, the children coloured in all the very many places which influenced her and her art on a world map. The children then used a different colour to colour in any countries that inspire them, either that they have family in or that are important to them.
Next, we spent some time looking at Fahrelnissa’s kaleidoscopic artwork. The children then created a collage taking inspiration from these works and a black and white photo of Zeid and her family. We practised writing ‘Zeid’ in the Arabic (one of her languages) and added this to the mix.
The children then had a go at making clay pots and decorating them with some of the
Islamic patterns that inspired Zeid.
Fahrelnissa Zeid felt very sad at some points during her life. She used painting and art to help her express these sad feelings. The year 2s then created their own work using line and colour to reflect certain emotions.
We were lucky enough to have two artists come in to teach us about figure and portrait painting – some realistic, some much less so! The children used mixed media to create portraits in one session and worked as a team to make a whole body in the other.
In our Arts Week Spanish lesson we read ‘El Monstruo de Colores’ (The Colour Monster). We decided which Spanish emotion belonged with which Spanish colour. We then created our own monsters about our feelings with googly eyes on lollypop sticks.
Zeid was a practising Muslim and took a lot of inspiration from her faith. The children in Year 3 did a collage activity which was inspired by some of the beautiful mosques. The children chose some vibrant colours to create beautiful patterns on a mosque of their choice. Some children went for abstract patterns while other children focused on symmetry.
The children also did some portrait work with an artist (Marlow’s mum)! Other activities in Year 3 included squiggly abstract pattern pieces, abstract body art and stained glass windows (making good use of translucent – there’s a Science term taught last half term! – coloured tissue paper!)
Mr Faith also did some art teaching, explaining the concept of pointillism, which children experimented with, tricking the eye into seeing a range of colours. We also explored the concept of symmetry, and how judicious use of it can result in appealing pieces of work.
The children in Year 4 started Arts Weeks by looking at the tales of the Arabian Nights – a book steeped in the Middle and Far East cultures and a popular muse for the artist. The children had a choice of one of a tale such as Aladdin or Sinbad and recreated the story as a storyboard/cartoon.
The children also made mosaics using a pattern and then using PVC glue to stick assorted dried food items in the shapes on the page. The food items included pasta, lentils, rice, peas, beans and other varieties.
The children then dine some line drawings which they added colour to. As the lines crossed each other the lines created windows or shapes and we were part was to be coloured in similar bright and vivid colours like Elsa’s picture. We also wanted to see if we could create a shape or figure within.
Zeid was inspired by the colours that she saw through latticed windows. The children recreated colourful stained glass windows. Instead of using paint or colouring pencils we cut out the frames of a window and then filled in each section using brightly coloured tissues.
As a practising Muslim, many of the themes of Fahlrelnissa Zeid’s work have an Islamic theme. we acknowledged Zeid’s Islamic faith by drawing and painting a mosque in a colourful setting. Using a variety of skills we used oil paints to create a setting of the background and then drew the silhouette of a Mosque before painting it in black.
In Year 5 we spent the week exploring Zeid’s use of colour and line and I think it is fair to say that our pupils (across the school) have been inspired by Zeid’s pieces. We created our own take on ‘Break of the Atom and Vegetal Life’ with children making their own abstract shapes before colouring them in contrasting colours to create a mind bending effect. We were then inspired by Zeid’s portraits and using black and white photography we altered our own school uniforms using a collage of colourful paper and again abstract shapes with defined lines overall creating a wonderful pattern. After we had done this, we made our own kaleidoscopes inspired by Zeid’s patterns and use of vibrant, dramatic colour and pattern. We finished the week with children creating their own free verse poetry and paint spray pieces reflecting their emotions on that day and an tea party inspired by some of the places Zeid had lived: France, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey. Miss Assadi taught us some Iraqi games and we munched on Kleicha, Loomi Tea, dates and brie as a nod to wonderful cultures that Zeid celebrated in her work.
Inspired by Fahrelnissa Zeid’s large-scale abstract paintings with kaleidoscopic patterns, the children began Arts Week with an abstract ‘scribble’ drawing. The children drew a scribble over a piece of paper which they then had to colour in following only one rule: try and not to put the same colour next to itself.
Next up was a self-portrait influenced by Zeid’s love for bright colours and intricate textures, the children were tasked with collaging a monotone photo of themselves using an array of paper, magazine and tissue paper to recreate their version of Zeid’s self- portrait. 6A transformed the dark colours of their school uniform into a collection of vibrant Islamic style fashion, whereas 6Z transformed the dark backgrounds into bright colours.
Year 6 also learnt all about Islamic art and how it features stylised motifs, interlacing patterns (such as geometric designs or arabesques) or calligraphy – or a combination. With this in mind the children revived and developed their recent learning about printing. They used a polystyrene square and a blunt pencil to carve their own symmetrical design to create a block for printing. They loaded the carved surface with paint using a roller and then pressed the block down carefully onto the sheet, exerting even pressure to ensure full contact and a good print. They repeated this four times to build up a mosaic patterned tapestry. Finally, the children learnt all about Arabic calligraphy and used this to scribe their Arabic name onto the tapestry.