Term: 2 Year: 2007
At the time I started researching an Art from Science unit of work on leaf litter, that incredibly populated and
biologically active interface between earth and atmosphere, a wonderful Australian book called 'Leaf Litter'
by Rachel Tonkin was published.
This book became the focus for my sessions and was read serially as we developed our illustrations in the style of
those in the text. This topic also provided me with the chance to use those great Skeletons Leaves that I had bought
from Zart some time before, in both a scientific and artistic manner. The unit really needed a whole term or more
to do it justice, as there is so much art that could have been done along the way than just the illustration taken
from the book.
We briefly studied micro-organisms (what a chance to do some abstract art), fungi (great topic for collage and watercolour),
minibeasts (scratch art, collagraphs, printing…you name it), tree litter (rubbings, plein air drawing), the carbon
cycle, micro-environments (dioramas), underground life, food chains and the interdependence of species. As Rachel
Tonkin's artwork is scientifically well informed, it would also make an interesting comparison with the way
different artists through time have depicted the natural environment.
Penders Grove Primary School