Questioning the Canvas

By Paula Briggs

This resource shares the aims and outcomes of 4 one-hour long sessions with students aged 11, 12 and 13 from the AccessArt Art Lab which took place at Wysing Arts Centre.

Questioning the canvas

Following on from a short warm-up exercise which introduced the children to the question: “What is a Canvas“, I wanted to provide the students with the opportunity to create 2-d or 3-d artwork inspired by the creation of a canvas. Rather than take an off the peg, ready made canvas, or a sheet or paper upon which to paint, I thought it would be interesting if we built up the canvases using other materials, so that the nature and character of the canvas could inspire what was then created on the canvas.

The sessions were particularly successful in enabling students to take part in a continuous process of reflection and action, as they made decisions, sometimes consciously sometimes not, about their next creative action.

To Begin

We began our questioning of what a canvas was, or might be, by a gift and an invitation to deconstruct the gift. Each teenager was given an old Observer book, and with the book they were given permission to take it a part, and put it together again in any way they wished…

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AccessArt is a UK Charity and we believe everyone has the right to be creative. AccessArt provides inspiration to help us all reach our creative potential.