Body Art: Art and the Body.

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The body has been the subject and site of artistic expression for as long as people have been making art. Anthony Gormley is a sculptor who has taken the human form both in the general and the specific to make people think about the body and the space it occupies. He makes plaster casts of his own body and uses these in many of his works.

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Task 1

You will need: Pencils, paper, an object that fits in the hand

Choose the opposite hand to the one you normally use to draw. Pick an object that fits in your hand and hold it in a position you can keep for an extended period of time. Now with your drawing hand, draw your other hand and the object you are holding. Focus on the light source and the interplay of light and shadow, and the textures of the objects your are drawing.

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One of the oldest art forms in existence is body art, many cultures around the world have had a form of body art. The meanings are tied to the society in which they are created in myriad ways, however each tattoo is individual to that person and tells a unique story.

Task 2

You will need: Pencils, paper

Choose a body part and design a tattoo that tells some one something about you. Pick the body part carefully, and consider the shape of the body part and how it will fit with your design. You might take body art as it is practiced throughout the world as a source of inspiration.

Task 3

You will need: Pencils, paper, the contents of a recycling bin

Design a piece of sculpture meant to adorn the body in some way. It could be as small as a piece of jewelry or as large as a full body cloak. If you can make something, use found materials you have around the home, recycling bins could be a good place to find materials.

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How the body is depicted in art has been put into contention. The traditional position of the viewer, and the viewed of the human body has been questioned through art. Cindy Sherman took direct control over how she was photographed and assumed poses and costume taken from art history. The Guerilla Girls, an activist collective, took a graphic approach with billboards exposing truths about the art world: The poster above, related to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, says “Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art Sections are Women, but 85% of the nudes are female.”

Task 4

You will need:Coloured Pencils/paint, paper

Take a piece of paper, cut a hole no bigger than the head of a drawing pin. Place this drawing pin hole paper over your arms, and record the colors that you see, collect as many different patches as you can, use the colours you have at your disposal inventively to expand your pallet.