This activity considers the arrangement of the leaf shapes on the painted “bush floor” paper.
Curriculum content descriptions
Western Australian Curriculum
Exploration of artworks from other cultures, such as styles and symbols of Indigenous Australian and Asian cultures.
Artistic processes and techniques to explore visual conventions when making artworks: shape, colour, space and texture.
Australian Curriculum Version 8 Content Descriptions
Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111).
“Bush floor” background painted A3 paper.
At least 20 cut out paper leaves.
Review composition. For this project, composition refers to the placement or arrangement of visual elements. Students are to arrange their cut out, painted paper leaves onto the painted bush floor paper in a harmonious, balanced composition.
Reflect on the different compositions of bush medicine artworks by Utopian artists such as Yam Leaf by Dulcie Long Pwerle, Bush Medicine by Rosemary Petyarre and Bush Medicine Leaves by Abie Loy Kemarre.
Describe the different compositional arrangements.
Demonstrate how to “play” with different ideas of composition by arranging leaves onto the bush floor painting, e.g., linear, directional, spiral, etc.
Discuss the project requirement of a finished artwork, which is harmonious, balanced and resolved. Revise composition in terms of harmony and balance.
Model critical thinking when arranging the composition of the artwork.
Talk about an artwork being like an old-fashioned scale or a see-saw; if all the artworks are on one side, it gets a bit “heavy” and lopsided. Demonstrate this by physically moving the leaves to an “unbalanced” arrangement, experiment with a variety of arrangements and share your thinking.
When arranging artworks, consider leaving a margin around the outside of the artwork. Some students, at this stage of development, may glue the artwork right on the edge. They may still choose to do this but at least suggest leaving a margin, and encourage a conversation about the decisions behind this artistic decision.
Also, it is important that students also leave a space around and between their leaves so they might paint dots around the leaves in a later activity.
Clarify to students that once they have finalised their composition they need to check with the teacher before they glue. This enables further compositional dialogue, etc.
Students to start the composition process by experimenting with different arrangements. Encourage students to ask other students and/or the teacher, “Is this composition balanced? ”
Once the arrangement has been finalised, students can Blu Tack their leaves onto the painted bush floor page.
The use of temporary adhesive such as Blu Tack allows for students working at different rates. For this documented project, some students started glueing during this lesson. The Blu Tack allows for efficiency so the process can be continued at a later date.
For this documented project, Year 3 students required one 50-minute lesson.
© This lesson plan has been created by Ana Nail and Japingka Gallery. Educational study use encouraged.