I was joined by Blessed Thomas Catholic College Year 8 art students yesterday at the museum. The new session Big Art, Big ideas uses the Darwin exhibition as a starting point to consider how young artists can communicate concepts and ideas through simple visual forms.
The group started off by considering image, text and design down in the exhibition then we headed up to the Life Lab which had been turned into a print and design studio. We turned the collected observational drawings, found text and design techniques recorded in the exhibition into striking fine-art design work using simple print and pen and ink techniques.
While we stuck to black and white during the session, everyone headed back to school with an eye-catching design which they could develop in colour if they wanted to.
I’d suggest they try: collage, coloured acetate, paint, more printing, ink colour washes or digital processes.
The thing I most loved about the afternoon (apart from the sheer enthusiasm and ability shown by the students) was seeing how putting together observational drawings, found words and images against a scientific, historical and artistic backdrop made new and playful meanings of their own.