In this unit, pupils explore familiar objects from different viewpoints as the starting point for their work. They develop their ideas by selecting and abstracting qualities of objects to use as the basis for a painting. They learn about the ideas and approaches of the Cubists and their influences and make connections with other artists who worked from still life.

These use figurative work as a starting point

William McCance ‘Pendulum Clock’ (pencil) GR157 (ILLUSTRATION AND SYMBOLISM)

The artist takes a clock and ‘breaks’ it in a cubist manner– copy this idea with familiar objects trying to break up an object as if seen from different view points or fragmented through a lens, and try to track moving parts (e.g. the pendulum) by repetition. Use this to research Picasso and Braque Cubist work which explored and abstracted every day objects.


Pablo Picasso ‘Head of a Woman in Profile’ (dry point) GR181 (PORTRAITS)

Odilon Redon ‘A Throw of the Dice’ (lithograph) GR193 (ILLUSTRATION AND SYMBOLISM)

The Redon picture makes every day game objects seem disturbing by using scale, juxtaposing objects and showing something odd creeping up the hat. Pupils could take the familiar and the comfortable and try to include it in a surreal composition by displacing or dislocating the image or by adding something that would be out of context.


Matthew Smith ‘Flower Piece’ (oils) GR238 (FLOWERS AND STILL LIFE)

This painting takes a simple jug of flowers and gives it impact by the vital use of colours and the lively expressionist brushwork. Use this as a starting point for other artists who use expressive colour (e.g. Fauves or Expressionists) and use their techniques to render your own still lifes. Examples of close-up paintings of flowers can be seen in the work of Georgia O’Keefe.

The Elizabeth Le Moine work in Discovery Gallery shows everyday objects (underpants etc.) produced in miniature sculptures which again refer to scale. These could be followed up by studying the work of Claus Oldenburg, who examined the impact of scale and materials.


PERUVIAN ‘Vessel in the form of a Man’s Head’ (clay) GR335 (ILLUSTRATION AND SYMBOLISM)
PERSIAN ‘Final in shape of Ibex’ (bronze) GR312 (ANIMALS AND BIRDS)

CHINESE ‘Incense burner in shape of Tortoise’ GR303 (ANIMALS AND BIRDS)


NEW GUINEAN ‘Box in shape of Crocodile’ (wood) GR334 (ANIMALS AND BIRDS)

INUIT ‘Three Figurines of seals’ (walrus ivory) GR328 (ANIMALS AND BIRDS)

All of these items use human or animal forms, metamorphosed to decorate practical craft objects. The Persian finial was, for example, the handle of a wet stone, used for sharpening a knife or a sword. The horns were used to attach it to a belt. The little seals are possibly Inuit toggles used to keep hold of ropes – giving a grip to pull sledge, etc. Through the ages and through cultures these are examples of common shapes being transferred into design of everyday objects. Can pupils think of and draw contemporary examples: faces on the front of cars; sails on the Sydney Opera House; and is the RAC building on the M6 an eye watching cars go past?




In this unit pupils explore the use of the moving image to communicate ideas about particular genres and styles of art. They analyse paintings, films, cartoons, illustrations, digital images, photographs and images from contemporary visual culture. They learn how to represent ideas and values using the moving image. They make connections between Abstract Expressionism, Expressionism and Pop Art of the 1960’s and contemporary moving images.

The New Art Gallery can provide lively images that imply movement. They can be used as a starting point for either discussion about movement or to inspire pupils to produce an animated version of images using digital technology.

Georges Braque ‘Birds in Flight’ (lithograph) GR9 (ANIMALS AND BIRDS)

This is a simple, appealing image that could be animated by creating a flip-book of simple bird-shapes ‘flying’ across the page. The bird shapes could be cut out of card or press-print and repeat printed across a sky background to get a futurist-like picture of movement.


Jacob Epstein ‘Sunflowers’ (watercolours) GR69 (FLOWERS AND STILL LIFE)

Sally Ryan ‘The Cutting Garden’ (oils) GR219 (LANDSCAPE AND TOWNSCAPE)

These could be used to inspire writhing, linear pictures showing natural growth and movement. The sunflowers could be shown simply swaying or growing.

‘Art Moves’ is a video made by Frank F. Harrison School with The New Art Gallery who employed an animation company to help them design and make a cartoon with the aim of introducing the Garman Ryan Collection to people of their own age. This may be borrowed from Jo Digger, Curator of the collection.

The gallery also has 20 or 30 zoetrope strips based on the Garman Ryan Collection which may be used in the gallery on request plus instruction on how to make a zoetrope machine.

There is also a flip book in the Discovery Gallery by Dave Gunning and Gary Kirkham showing a drawing by Dave developing. This can also be purchased at the gallery shop.


Jacob Epstein ‘Study for Rock Drill’ GR72 (FIGURE STUDIES)
Jacob Epstein ‘Autumn Landscape’ GR68 (TREES)

These pictures could illustrate an animation in which a storyboard is based on the Epstein images. The autumn landscape may change through the seasons or have a child flying a kite which gets caught in the trees. What will the rock drill find when it has finished drilling – oil, a rainbow, water or perhaps the picture surface will crack and break?

Other images that might suit being animated include –


Henri Gaudier-Brzeska ‘Eagle’ (ink) GR123 (ANIMALS AND BIRDS) - could fly!

Raoul Dufy ‘Harvest Scene with Steam Threshing Machine’ (watercolour) GR43 (WORK AND LEISURE) could thresh!


William McCance ‘Pendulum Clock’ (pencil) GR157 (ILLUSTRATION AND SYMBOLISM) - could swing!
Michael Wishart ‘Moths on a Blue Path’ (oils) GR260 (ANIMALS AND BIRDS)

shows movement in a more abstract form and could be animated to imply the movement of the brush.


The Damien Hirst Spin picture in the Discovery Gallery is a picture made with actual movement which is very much part of the final result. The alien and beast images in the Discovery Gallery would also lend themselves as characters in a simple animation project.

Many local groups offer support in setting up animation projects including Creation Digital at Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery and the Lighthouse community and education project also in Wolverhampton (01902 716055).



In this unit pupils explore and use natural and other materials to construct a temporary, site-specific work, which represents a shared view of their locality. They work in groups to make a collective response. They analyse examples of work from different times and cultures where ideas, beliefs and values are shared and communicated through art, craft and design.


Queen Charlotte Islands – Haida people ‘Eagle’ (whalebone) GR322 (MAIN HALL).

This carving has a strong image and could be used as a starting point for study of the Haida people who construct totem poles carved in bone or wood along the coastal shoreline. Totemic figures based on their mythology and religious beliefs (books available in gallery library) located in between pine trees in their landscape. Pupils could design and construct their own totem poles from cardboard for the school grounds or environment (representing a shared view of their locality?) Further study of tribal art could be studied via websites on First Nation peoples of Canada.


Jacob Epstein ‘Maquette for Cavendish Square Madonna and Child’ (lead) GR91 (RELIGIOUS ART)

This piece could be used to introduce the idea of a maquette, the sculptor’s small preliminary model, used for planning how the finished piece will look. It also is a starting point for study of site-specific public art with further examples in the gallery that include the English ‘Nottingham’ ‘Resurrection’ GR349 (FIGURE STUDIES) and the Indian ‘Goddess Parvati and attendants’ GR323 (FIGURE STUDIES). In many cases a story is told through a series of visual images (like a stained glass window). Pupils may produce site-specific views of their locality designed for windows within school, perhaps sited along a corridor.


Indian ‘Covered Box’ (rock crystal) GR327 (FLOWERS AND STILL LIFE)

This small treasure is a tribute to skilled craftsmanship

– that a lump of rock crystal was carved into this delicate little box seems amazing to us living in a technological age. Transforming naturally occurring materials into an artwork that reflects something of where the piece come from using leaves, twigs, stones (as produced by Andy Goldsworthy) or clay (from Brownhills), rangoli patterns using natural materials (often displayed temporarily in the art gallery).

I like the idea of making a ‘Rock Drill’ figure based on the Epstein drawing (GR72) (FIGURE STUDIES) out of twigs or withies standing very tall in the school grounds like a Walsall Wicker Man!


The stripe design outside the gallery in the Gallery Square is designed by Richard Wentworth - study aerial photographs of this (or drawn studies/photos taken from sculpture terrace on the roof). A design project produced on maquettes could develop your own design to be drawn on a large tarmac area (playground) using chalk and photographed/viewed from appropriate high window in school overlooking the drawing.

An advantage of these temporary site-specific artworks, (made of leaves, chalk etc.) to an art teacher, is that they can be recorded by video and photographs and then be eroded/ disappear. This negates the need for storage which is often a problem with 3D and large scale work.

A resource web for art teachers using the Garman Ryan Collection and the New Art Gallery Walsall, England as a source of inspiration for the delivery of the QCA National Curriculum 2000 art schemes of work to pupils in Key Stages 1-3