Talk About Art (TAA) are delighted to welcome John Stainer Community Primary School to our family of partner schools!

TAA is talking about environmental art with years 4,5 and 6 at their after school art club. When asked who likes art every hand shot up fast and eagerly.  We couldn’t ask for a more enthusiastic group of students!

They were all positive about our first artists Christo and Jeanne Claude and there was a lot of energy to their drawings inspired by everyday objects found in their own environment.

Its going to be a fun, high energy project!

Week 2
Here’s what the students thought about Senga Nengudi:

  • I really liked how she got sooo creative with only everyday materials and make a real work out of them
  • I liked how she used human dancers in ther projects, that’s really creative.
  • How art comes to life

Students appreciated the importance of her work and how she made art to talk about others experiences!

Week 3
This week’s activity was to make paper sculptures using a variety of techniques that the students were introduced to. Here’s what they thought about it:

  • I loved making the paper sculpture because it was something different (something you wouldn’t do every time you do art). It was also quite interesting to find out what you could do with such a basic item.
  • I liked this, you could make anything.
  • It was fun to make them
  • I liked that I was able to make what I wanted to, I made a lantern and it was fun.

One student said; I like the work of Agnes Dene best of all the artists we looked at. I liked her style of art.

Week 4
This is what they students thought about Benjamin Von Wong

  • I like how he did work to help the environment with everyday objects.
  • I liked how he did stuff to stop plastic pollution
  • My favourite one was with the mermaid

This week we make collages using papers and packaging that would have otherwise gone to waste. The students said ‘This was my favourite activity because we go to cut and stick things and it was very colourful.’ ‘I liked making the sea animal collage as it made me appreciate animals and sea life.’ ‘I liked using collage and scraps.’

Week 5
We paused to reflect on the artists that we have enjoyed so far, and the students were asked who their favourite artist was so far. This is what they said:

  • I like Christo and Jeanne Claude because they made you appreciate the shape rather than all the details.
  • I liked Benjamin Von Wong, because he is very loving to the world and shows that through his art. He also recycles materials which is great.
  • I liked how Christo and Jeanne Claude wrapped things in beautiful fabric.
  • My favourite is Senga Nengudi because her art represented a life like the windowsill to show how difficult a life can be, I liked the delicate pieces of the windowsill.
  • I liked Christo and Jeanne Claude because I liked how their work didn’t change the place (where they built it).
  • I liked Benjamin Von Wong because sometimes he involves real people in his art like the mermaid piece and he did art involving pollution which is a very serious topic.

We also considered which art assignment had been their favourite so far. The students responded:

  • Making paper sculptures because there were so many possibilities
  • I loved making those sea animals out of paper, because it was creative and fun, plus I LOVE crafting and I’m really good at it.
  • I liked using collage because we got to used lots of images to create one big picture.

In week 5 we used our own bodies as a canvas to paint our environment. The students were quick to point out that this was not their favourite artist!

Our artist this week was Ana Mendieta, there was a good discussion about her work and the mediums she used. With some students not liking her work and some appreciating that it sends a strong and important message.

Week 6
This week we were inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. Students brought in leaves collected on their way to class. We did some fast draw and produced some really lovely pages reflecting the many different shapes formed by nature on leaves.

We discussed our own project which will take place over the next 3 weeks and the students came up with their own ideas about what they wanted to do. Students were tasked with going away to collect materials for the final project piece starting next week. We were all very excited about doing our own thing!

Week 7 (week one of personal project)

The children came up with the idea for their project themselves, responding to the artists we looked at over the last 6 weeks, the activities we did inspired by those artists and the topic of environment. They bounced ideas off each other, they had wanted to use their own bodies in the art and dconnect the relationship people have between nature and between the man made products that are polluting our environment.

This week they started the project by dividing into 4 groups to work collaboratively. Two groups would work using materials and images found in the natural world and two groups would work using man made materials or materials that often pollute our environment. The children collected materials from their homes or from their own local environments to use as their mediums.

Each group made their own canvas by sticking paper together till they go the size they wanted then they chose one person to draw around. By the end of the first session, they had started to make excellent progress on their art. It’s going to see exciting to see how these progress.

Weeks 8&9 (Personal Project)

John Steiner art club made great progress on their personal project. The concept of the project was conceived of by the children. They brought in their own materials to make their finished piece, including leaves, bark, and natural organic materials, collected from gardens and walks in the local area. They also brought in used packaging and plastic wrappers that would have otherwise gone in the bin or had to be recycled.

They also worked collaboratively, including everyone in their groups and working together to choose who would be the ‘model’ for the collage. There was great excitement around this in particular, and the children who were chosen to be the basis for the collage were really excited, using paint on their hands and body to imprint their own marks onto the collage. Quite fitting as the theme was all around how we connect to our environment through nature and through man-made products as well.

Throughout the project there was a high level of engagement and enthusiasm from the children in the Art Club. Each week they remembered the artists we had looked at and took part in fantastic discussions which each child took part in, giving their options on the art, and what they really thought about it.   It has been a real pleasure to create art with them and to work with John Steiner School.