“Numbers and Letters” project.
Inspired by the collages of French – Canadian artist Cecil Touchon, this work by Year 8 students challenges their understanding and application of abstract composition, positive and negative shape, contrast and mixing acrylic paint into a range of tints and shades from hues of pure colour.
Initially, letter shapes from a Gothic alphabet are cut up and rearranged across a grid, liberating them from their literary function, to create new shapes – some angular, some sinuous – and irregular patterns and rhythms. Working on a scaled up section of nine squares taken from the collage, students then develop their paintings. In the beginning the task is simple, but as more squares are coloured a greater number of contrasting tones are required (from just three colours) to make each shape’s contour clear whilst still retaining the painting’s nine square structure.
Although each student’s painting has exactly the same structure, uses the same letter shapes, and a primary colour with black and white, no two paintings (out of a total of 60) are the same.
A bit like jazz.