Art Class – Clifford Possum

Art class this week was looking at a type of Indigenous Australian art and I decided to pick Clifford Possum, one of Australia’s leading and most prolific dot artists. His work is quite amazing. You can check out my handout here…

clifford possum pdf

First we talked about older forms of Aboriginal art, cave paintings, telling Dreamtime stories in the sand, and the like. We looked at different types of aboriginal symbols and the kids had a good time telling a story in the sandpit outside (in the rain I might add!) and then wiping it away in order to keep it a secret.

Next we collected some paperbark from cut logs I had stored for firewood and I sent the  kids to look for objects in the backyard they thought we could paint with. Then they sat on the ground, traditional fashion, to draw using some of the symbols. They did experiment and found that some things worked better than others.

Next they drew out a story in their sketch books, using the symbols. The boys perhaps took a little longer to get engaged, but when they realised that they could let their imagination run wild they were engaged… a rocketship into space, travelling around the sun and planets, being attacked by men in outer space with spears and a catapult, and back through the milky way…

The girls in particular were quite intently focussed with this, getting into a quite meditative zone amongst the chatter.

A long dusty road and a river crossing…

Sketching the symbols in with a pencil on the black background first was quite helpful.

Working out how to get nice clean dots with the ear buds was a bit of an experiment initially. There was a realisation that to get the sort of order found in Clifford Possum’s work you have to work slowly and carefully.

I really loved his daughter Gabriella’s painting “Bush Tucker Dreaming…

Main Image 9203

All in all a great fun lesson! I wonder what we’ll do next?!!

About purplecamels

I'm a slightly crazy mother of 3, wife of 1, who loves adding colour to everything, being creative, and spending time with people. I am very grateful God is in control, though sometimes I wish He'd give a little more notice when He's got plans for my life!
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