Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On a student's work in the Journal+Sketchbook class

Patty and I taught the ninth Journal+Sketchbook class of the semester last Thursday. The assignment from the last class was to produce two self-portraits, one in words and one in images. Most students brought in drawings for the visual self-portrait, but a student called Jessica Humphrey brought a sculpture, shown above (cell phone picture - not very hi-def). Considering that this is primarily a writing class, with the sketchbook being used as an aid to see story and scene more fully; and considering that this student doesn't have much prior art training, and was very unconfident in her visual art skills at the start of the semester, this was a big deal. Jessica has been producing more complex drawings in the past few weeks, indicating that her confidence was growing, but when she gave us the box containing this three-dimensional piece, I was just completely bowled over by how good it was. It's a plastic carton, cut in half and covered with coloured clay. The dreadlocks are pieces of wire with colored clay coiled painstakingly around them. More bits of wire extend outward from the head, decorated at the end with bits of seashell and aluminium foil shapes. The top of the head is a circle of artificial turf. The whole thing is topped off by a little figurine of an angel sitting cross-legged.

We're feeling immensely proud that we had a part in unlocking this kind of creativity in someone.

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