After traveling to Austria and seeing Friedensreich Hunderwasser’s art and architecture in real life, I knew I wanted to teach a unit about him. There are so many reasons why we should be studying his work, ideas and inspirations!
- He had a fun, colourful, simplified, yet achievable style of art- suitable for all age levels.
- His passion for nature, and the ways he communicated his ideas were incredibly inspiring. I believe his environmental message is so important, and still relevant today.
- Hundertwasser explored a variety of media from: painting, printing, design to architecture, which means a unit could have a great deal of choice and variety for the students.
- His use of symbols such as the lollypop trees and spirals could enable students to think about their own symbols, and what is important to them.
As the students entered the room this video was playing in the background. I read the introduction of my favourite Hundertwasser book, Hundertwasser for Kids- by Barbara Stieff, whilst they documented the information using sketchnotes. The students studied his paintings, but focused only on his trees and colour use.
Now, they were ready to try their own version of the trees in oil pastel and watercolour!
Aren’t they stunning? It was SO relaxing creating them, that I introduced the task to my “Art For The Soul Class” (free teacher class).
When the paintings were complete it was time to photograph and manipulate their art using the Megaphoto app and layering the images with Superimpose. The manipulated images were used for a poster, which had to combine the image with one of Hundertwasser’s nature quotes.
Step 1 was complete, now it was time to learn about Hundertwasser’s use of spirals. To Hundertwasser: spirals represented infinity, nature, life and the afterlife. They feature in many of his paintings. After introducing this to the students they were then required to use PicCollage to create 2 visual collages, one had to be of “spirals in nature” and the other “spirals in Hundertwasser’s paintings”.
The collages were then inserted into Lifecards and the students documented what they had learnt so far, then the cards were embedded onto the student blogs and printed.
We watched this video:
After a brief class discussion we were ready to analyze and document the elements in Hundertwasser’s paintings. The students created a poster in their books with small sketches of symbols and colours which they noticed in each painting. The list included: hidden faces, contour lines, domes, patterns, rounded squares, spirals, floating eyes, lollypop trees, teardrops and bright colours.
Now, they were ready to discover their first major task:
TO CREATE A VIETNAMESE LANDSCAPE IN THE STYLE OF HUNDERTWASSER.
After selecting or merging a couple of Vietnamese landscape photos, the images were printed. The students created 3 concepts, by placing tracing paper on top and adding the elements gathered in their books. The next step will be to paint onto a black square canvas and share our final paintings with “THE HUNDERTWASSER NON PROFIT FOUNDATION”
Task two of the unit will be based on Hundertwasser’s buildings but this time, the students will have many choices when it comes to the final task. I can’t wait to see their final results.