This is an excellent GCSE project by student Lima. This was the externally set assignment and looking back, I can’t believe the student created so much work in so few weeks. GCSE’s are a qualification taken in the UK where the students should work independently when approximately aged 15-16.
She chose the starting point of ‘Connections’ from the exam paper and had about 6 weeks to fulfil the assessment objectives before creating a 10hr final piece under exam conditions.
She started by creating a mind map that explored her own ideas about what ‘Connections’ might be. Subject-specific language is already in use with terms like ‘Double Exposure’ being used and lots of appropriate artist names.
Lima evidenced that she has looked at lots of artists that she felt reflected the theme of ‘connections’ in their work by simply showing them on a page.
She decided to look at the artist ‘Diana Schmertz’ in more detail.
She creates an artist analysis (copying a piece of the artist’s work to learn the process the artist uses)
She experiments with two more artist analyses, one in charcoal and conte, another in biro. Both on book paper. She annotates her thoughts about these processes.
Inspired by the artist’s work, Lima takes photographs of hands and body parts. She shows these on a ‘contact sheet’.
She annotates why she has taken these photos and explains that she’s presented the best 16 on the adjacent page and her favourite 3 on the bottom of this page.
She works in different media from her photographs. The artwork on the left is a watercolour, and on the right ballpoint pen. This sketchbook is A3, so each artwork is a little smaller than A4.
I’ve shown them larger below so you can appreciate the quality and detail.
She also works in pencil and coloured pencil below.
She wanted to think about different ways that her artwork could develop and so brainstormed ideas on a mind map. She looks at connections in maths, philosophy, religion and science. I love the idea of incorporating a second mind map at the stage we want our students to develop their ideas, as this is something students sometimes struggle with.
One of her ideas for development was to work digitally and explore layering. She created 5 different digital drawings of hands and experimented with layering them using acetate.
However, I feel the real breakthrough happened when she decided to explore ‘moments of contact’.
She created the 9 little paintings below that illustrated ‘moments of contact’.
She used colour copies of her paintings to experiment with different arrangements that are inspired by Schmertz’s work.
The mind map above included some maths-related information including Pi. Lima created a document with the numbers from Pi repeated across it with gaps to provide variation. She then printed her paintings on top of the numbers.
Below she experiments with more compositions and introduces stitch inspired by Schmertz.
Lima experiments with more ideas that reflect moments of contact and explores the concept of the connection between God and humans. This reminded her of Michaelangelo’s ‘Creation of Adam’.
Below is a close up of the wonderful ballpoint pen drawing.
Still inspired by Schmertz, Lima explores layering text.
She experiments with a bold image of fingers on acetate layered on top of a fleshy painting. She reviews her work.
Having previously experimented with stitching on paper, she experiments with stitching on cloth.
She researches the work of Frederic Forest and Ghada Amer.
Next, Lima creates digital drawings from her own photos inspired by Forest. She then repeats one of these digital drawings and stitches into them, taking inspiration from Ghada Amer.
At the same time as working on the digital drawings and stitch, Lima was working on the A4 painting below and experimenting with combining stitch and words.
She creates different composition ideas to inform a final piece.
In total, she shows five well-developed ideas that reflect her previous explorations and artist influences whilst making a personal response.
Again incorporating maths, she uses the Fibonacci sequence and a photo that arguably includes the Fibonacci sequence, layered on top of the numbers for Pi.
She considered different photos.
The final outcome below includes a wonderfully detailed painting placed on top of the number of Pi. She has stitched a squared version of Pi and, if you look carefully, you can also see a faint pencil Fibonacci sequence in the background.
If you would like to reward your high-achieving students and raise the profile of your art department by publishing student work on this blog, do get in touch. Work would need to have been released by the exam board.
You can see more projects by Arty Students on this website.
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