Eastbury first became involved with The Big Draw six years ago, after I started working at the school. We were keen as a department to raise the awareness of visual literacy and all the possible ways subjects could include visual learning and drawing within lessons. We started small and have worked up to more involved projects over the years.
Art and Photography teacher Darren Bartholomew worked with the whole cohort of year 8 to animate a 6th former street dancing using rotoscoping. This was a large undertaking which integrated both the art and pastoral teams in a joint creative venture. The process involved videoing a dancer, a student who also studied BTEC Art and Design. This video was broken up into separate frames and stills and printed out ready for the entire year group to work on. Each student had a frame to work with during tutor time, filling the silhouette with colours and patterns. Some students added words and designs to the background which add quick bursts of energy to the final animation, if you watch carefully you can see these flash across the screen.
Darren spent time after, developing the final animation digitally; adding the soundtrack and other layers of visual information. Both the staff and students are incredibly pleased with the work created and the specialist skills and time Darren provided to the department and the Big Draw. It has inspired the department to use animation more this year and develop our confidence and skills further.
Our students learnt about collaboration and new digital media. Students realised their seemingly small creative part developed into something much bigger and more intricate, they watch the animation looking for their input. It forged links across both Art and the pastoral team, allowing students to further feel they ‘belong’ to a year group and the school. It was exciting for them to work with the older KS5 students and set additional aspirations for their creative futures at Eastbury. I think a final outcome was very powerful to share with the school and students, especially developing knowledge and confidence in digital media as one of the fastest growing career paths in London.
Eastbury Art Department encouraged all staff to teach or discuss drawing in some form in October during their lessons to encourage visual literacy and the value of the arts within both education and student’s career choices. Lots of fun activities took place around the school such as visualising the characters in plays during English, drawing selfies and redesigning the department’s Twitter logo.
As the theme was ‘STEAM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths). The Art department used this as an opportunity to develop our use of animation, apps and digital media by creating a stop motion animation. We took the theme of cells and year 7 Biology students created beautiful hand drawn and woven visual responses in class using a variety of secondary sources as inspiration. These drawings were then animated using the Imotion app on our iPads and edited using the ‘Glitch’ app and Final Cut Pro. The final animation has facts about cells running through it, so it’s final purpose is both creative and educational. This was a way to link together hand drawn, more ‘traditional’ art forms with new media that all students have access to on their smart phones. It’s about giving students confidence to try new things and explore, this is vital to us as teachers as it is to the young people in our lessons. Staff felt more confident and are now using these techniques in their lessons this year. Watch the final animation below!
You can check out all the amazing work the Eastbury Art Department are doing on Twitter @ArtEastbury.
We hope our chat with Jennifer has inspired you to get involved with The Big Draw Festival this year! Read more on becoming part of The Big Draw Festival here or click below to register your event!
Part 2 of our interview with Jennifer and Eastbury will be published next week.