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Four Horsemen Collaborative Art Installed at High School

Students in the Drawing and Painting III classes at Hampton High School worked collaboratively to create a unique piece of artwork that was installed at the High School on May 28, 2019.

The project required students to work collaboratively to create an art installation that elicits strong reactions from viewers. They were tasked with creating a work of art that illustrates a theme alongside other works of art illustrating that theme or related to that theme. An artist statement explaining their artistic intentions in relation to the theme and the collaborative experience also was provided for each of the four panels. Students re-purposed a set of four 4 x 8 ft panels from Construction Junction, which served as the starting point for this project. To decide what to put on these panels, the students brainstormed things that come in fours, and the class settled on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They elected to correlate each horseman to a relevant issue in society. They planned together how each piece would illustrate its theme and relate visually to the other panels. The students created these pieces in groups of four or five.

The four panels, along with the students who created them and the explanation for each, are listed below.

Pollution
Morgan S., Brandon S., Kelly G., and Paige B.

Our horseman was the white horse of conquest, this horse is told to be the first to ride out in the apocalypse. We wanted to show just the horse without the horseman because we wanted the viewer to see the human effect of pollution instead of a human rider. Our painting shows how pollution not only affects the environment but animals as well. We wanted the viewer to see how this is ruining our ecosystem and the long term problems this is going to have on our earth for generations to come. We used acrylic paint for the background and the horse then in the foreground we used real trash that we collected from people around the school. This piece was meant to give the viewer a new perspective on where their trash is going.

"The War on Mental Health"
Kerri S., Jose R., Gabby D., Jessie L. 

Mental health is an internal struggle that is fought within a person’s own mind. For this project, we focused on the Horseman of War; specifically, the war on mental health. In this piece, the subjects are engulfed in neurons, representing the battle within their own mind. The human represents the person struggling with the illness and the horse represents the mental illness. The red horse is unrestrainable as the human subject attempts to rein in the horse in vain. It’s fiery mane is uncontrollable.  We wanted the viewers to feel a sense of intimidation and helplessness when they looked at the piece.

Hungry for Representation
Allison C., Emily F., Noah L., Kexin L.

As a group, we interpreted famine to mean metaphysical famine. Instead of actual hunger, it was a hunger for equality and representation. We focused on the movement for gender equality; this inspired us to incorporate elements of an ongoing fight for women’s empowerment. In an attempt to represent the power of femininity, the painting mimics Botticelli's “The Birth of Venus.” Our horse stands in a strong stance and is crowned by a glowing halo. In contrast, however, there is a barrenness to some of the landscape, the horse is shackled and her ribs are visible; these elements represent centuries of mistreatment: objectification, unequal opportunity, dehumanization. This contrast works to communicate where the movement has come from, how it has grown, and how it may continue to grow with newfound strength. There is no horseman present so that the horse may be interpreted as independent. We honor those who have contributed to women’s empowerment by painting their names on the border.

Death by Deforestation
Carley S., Rylee M., Sophia C., Craig N.

In this project, the class got split up into four groups. Each group was given one of the horses of the apocalypse. Our group got the horse of death. From this, we decided what to base our idea off of and we chose to do the death of deforestation. We wanted to put some live trees in the background. Then have the deforestation look as if it was growing out of our horses back. This type of deforestation is humans cutting down more and more trees and in reaction, there is less oxygen in the air for us to breathe. We had the mane and the tail look like fire and there is smoke coming off of it because this is one way that deforestation can happen. The overall goal for us is to make the viewer not only see the intensity in the colors but to see that there is life everywhere and we can be part of the cause of its destruction. We as humans destroy nature all the time by just cutting down trees in our yard that we think are in our way or do not look aesthetically pleasing or to get wood for fires. We often think well what is one tree going to do to our environment and then don’t think anything of it. We should be more careful with nature; if you cut down one tree we should plant a new one.

A video montage of the new installation is available here

Posted by berg in High School, art education, STEAM on Thursday May, 30 at 04:24PM
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