Appreciating the work of different artists is a common occurrence in the art room. The children are introduced to new and varied artworks and encouraged to be artistic thinkers, who are able to express their opinions and look closely at the elements that make up artwork. Technical terms such as composition, colour, mood, figures and line are becoming embedded and the children have been applying them to their analysis of artwork consistently.
In our image-filled world, it is vital that children are visually literate. Taking the world of art and images as its starting point, The Superpower of Looking is an innovative and inclusive programme created by Art UK that aims to extend visual literacy skills and allow children to gain an essential superpower – the ability to really ‘see’. Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 have taken part in a Superpower of Looking pilot and have honed their superpowers by critically observing, analysing, questioning, interpreting and empathising, as well as embracing a love for art.
Year 6 pupils have sharpened their powers of observation with Joseph Mallard William Turner’s 1844 painting Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway, Year 5 focused on still life, flowers and insects attributed to Rachel Ruysch and thought to be painted between 1720 and 1730 and Year 4 looked at the Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I (1533–1603), painted by an unknown English artist around 1588. Imagery from the past was transformed into the present through their artistic superpower of looking!