Pathway: How Can Printmaking Be Used To Explore Social History & Cultural Commentary?

This is an enquiry-based creative learning pathway for learners between the ages of 14-16. Find more enquiry-based pathways here.

Discipline: Printmaking

Print is so successful as a tool to spread messages because of its ability to be mass produced. In this pathway, for ages 11 to 14,  we share a artists who use printmaking as a medium through which to share their identity and beliefs. Use their work as the basis for conversation in the classroom. 

Continue your exploration by using the AccessArt resources to explore the questions: How can printmaking be used to explore social history and cultural commentary?

Activism, Identity, Comment


Edgar Heap of Birds, Zine makers

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To Whom It My Concern Text and Image by Stephanie Cubbin
Still Life Sketches by Stephanie Cubbin
ages 14-16

Explore an Artist…

Talking Points: Edgar Heap of Birds

The artworks of Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap Of Birds advocate for indigenous communities worldwide, focusing first upon social justice and then the personal freedom to live within the tribal circle as an expressive individual. –Edgar Heap of Birds Website

Explore videos of the artist talking about his work in “Talking Points: Edgar Heap Of Birds” and see how words in print can have powerful impact.

Talking Points: What is a Zine?

Zines are inexpensive or free way of making a self-published publication. A focus on community is what makes a zine different to a comic or other types of publications.

Find out how zines can be used as a way to talk about identity, social history and cultural commentary in “Talking Points: What is a Zine?” and think about what you might like to share in a zine.

And Use These AccessArt Resources...

Monoprint Sketchbook Pages by Stephanie Cubbin
Collection of Portraits by Stephanie Cubbin

Research Project: Make a Zine

Help students to explore the things that are important to them through print, by creating individual or group zines. FInd inspiration from the “The Art of Zines” resource.

Begin by helping students “Find their Message” with this resource. Provide students with laptops to research current / past events that hold significance to them. Invite them to find articles, poetry and imagery that resonates.


Use and adapt the “Mono printing to explore narratives and themes in literature” resource to get students exploring the articles and poetry they have selected through monoprint and carbon copy paper.

Create printed, drawn or painted self-portraits which can sit beside the monoprints within the zine.

Students can create their zine by making a “Backwards Sketchbook” using their prints. They may like to photocopy text and prints and collage elements together to create purposeful pages. Think about how scrap paper can be utilised.

If you’re short on time, students can focus on just creating a double-page spread, contributing to a group zine.

Notes for Teachers

Pedagogy in 250 Words: How do we use Artists in schools?

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