Skin n’ Bones
Combined art and music project – Spring Term 2012
At the beginning of the academic year the whole of year 8 had the opportunity to visit The British Museum for ideas for a combined Art and Music project. This year’s project took the Day of the Dead Festival inMexicoas its starting point and the visit enabled students to see Day of the Dead paper mache skeleton figures and to visit the Mexican Gallery which contains artefacts from the ancient civilisation of the Aztecs such as mosaic decorated skulls, temple sculptures and beautiful gold jewellery.
The students were taught the significance of the festival which is a fusion of two cultures – the Aztecs a fierce, strong culture who dominated Mexico during the 13th and 14th century and infamous for their human sacrificing which they believed maintained the earth’s seasons and cycles and the Spanish Catholic invaders’ festival of All Soul’s Day.
Back in school the students set about using their research in their art classes to help them design masks that were based on themes to commemorate someone who has died. Students made choices from a wide range of people including Winston Churchill, Rosa Parks, Tutankamun, Henri Matisse and Steve Jobs.
At the same time the students worked on musical themes and ideas that could relate to the work they had been doing in their art classes. Through a period of careful selection each group decided upon a group of four melodic ideas that they felt would best represent their artwork. These four ideas were then mixed to form the sound track that would accompany the final presentations from each class.
It was decided that the best way to display this work would be in a final ‘catwalk’ show with each student getting the chance to show off their design to an invited audience of year 7 students. Create Club students designed and made lanterns to decorate and light up the catwalk which added to the ‘Day of The Dead atmosphere’ The whole project was a great success and the students got a unique experience as a result of their participation in the final event. The year 7 students also had a chance to see what can be achieved through consistent hard work and effort…..and they now know what they have to do to improve on the results of this year.
A big thank you goes out to: Mr Morris, Mr Kwan, Ms Riddlesdell, Ms Ostensson, Ms Drew and Ms McEvoy who all helped in the production and arrangement of the performance and to all the Year 8s who took part and worked so hard on the project.