Mythological Self-Portraits

Term: 2 Year: 2020


Mixed Media Collage

Learning Intention: Create a self-portrait using symbolic imagery.

Inspiration: Mythological graphic art by Illustrator Victoria Topping/Greek mythology.

The unit, Mythological Self-Portraits, began with an exploration of symbolism. We then explored Greek mythology and the Ancient Greeks’ practise of assigning specific animals, elements, emotions and human qualities to particular Gods and Goddesses. Then we viewed and discussed artwork by illustrator Victoria Topping. Her book ‘Mythologica’ was referred to for inspiration throughout the unit. The students brainstormed ideas about personal strengths, hobbies and preferences and developed a set of symbols and totems to express the qualities they wished to communicate to the audience. They were asked to represent who or what they would be the ruler of, if they were a Greek God or Goddess.
Students took black and white portraits of each other using iPads. The pose needed to reflect the ideas they wished to express to the viewer. They considered scale and contrast.
Using the black and white photograph as the base of the piece, students had the freedom to incorporate a variety of materials to build their image. They used fabric scraps, buttons, gems, glitter, gold leaf, scrap paper, packing materials, oil pastels, paint, pencil and crayon.
Students focused on the elements of texture, line, pattern and shape and the principles of unity and balance.

Year 5 students thoroughly enjoyed the freedom to explore a range of materials and the opportunity to express themselves in a unique and meaningful way.
Year 5
Sacred Heart School, Kew