Banksy is the pseudonym of a “guerrilla” street artist known for his controversial, and often politically themed, stenciled pieces of art.
Banksy’s identity remains unknown. He is believed to have been born in Bristol, England, around 1974. He rose to prominence for his provocative stenciled pieces in the late 1990s.
He is the subject of a 2010 documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, which examines the relationship between commercial and street art. This documentary was nominated for an academy award.
Banksy’s artwork is characterized by images that are often combined with slogans. His work often has political themes, critiquing war, capitalism, hypocrisy and greed. Common subjects include rats, apes, policemen, members of the royal family, and children. In addition to his two-dimensional work, Banksy is also known for his installation artwork.
Students used chalk pastels to create their own wall to stencil their graffiti on to. We were inspired by the Banksy piece referred to as “There is Always Hope”. Using a stencil they applied the image of a young girl who has just let go of her balloon.
Tom Thomson was born August 5th, 1877 in Claremont Ontario. He was the sixth of ten children. Although he was always interested in the arts, he did not devote his career to painting until he was 30.
In 1904, while working as a draftsman he met members of the Group of Seven. Although Thomson was closely associated with the artists in the Group of Seven, the Group of Seven was not founded until after his death.
To offset his art career, Thomson worked as a firefighter, a ranger and a guide to Algonquin Park while living on his own in a shack on Canoe Lake. Here he produced his most famous work: Jack pine, West Wind and Northern River.
Thomson died mysteriously on a canoe trip in 1917 at 39 years old.
Students used watercolours, acrylic paint and chalk pastels to create their own landscapes inspired by Tom Thomson.
Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten and Egyptian Pharaoh. With her husband she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history.
We were inspired by the bust of Nefertiti, presently exhibited at the Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.
Students used a combination of chalk and oil pastels to draw and decorate their Queens. A bit of gold paper was added at the end to add sparkle and a few hieroglyphs.
“One curator said he didn’t want my work in his gallery because it was so simple even children understood it. I thought, what a wonderful tribute!”
Before the Christmas holidays we were invited into the JK/SK classrooms at Runnymede Public School to do a special project inspired by the Canadian artist, Ted Harrison. The students were very enthusiastic and did a great job on their Northern Landscapes. They learned how to use chalk pastels and how to blend them for a brilliant sky. Next we sponged on snow to fill the bottom of our creations. And lastly we applied collage to build our Inukshuks.
Ted Harrison was born in England in 1926. In 1950 he received his teaching certificate and began his 28 year career in education. He had a great interest in travel and taught in many different parts of the world, including Malaysia, India, East Africa and New Zealand before immigrating to Canada with his wife Nicky and their son Charles in 1968.
They settled in a small town called Carcross just outside Whitehorse in the Yukon. His love of the land and people of the Yukon has brought him national acclaim. He makes simple landscapes even simpler.
Ted Harrison’s paintings are iconic, recognizable and distinctly unique. His paintings are mostly in horizontal sections. In the foreground there are people, animals and other objects. In the background is the Canadian Northern landscape. His paintings are made up of brilliant colors, never shaded, and not always naturalistic – deep purple hills and lime green water. His signature lines give contrast to the brilliant colours.