Identity and Portraiture through Collage

In the Rainbow Room, in art, the children worked on creating collaged self-portraits. The intention behind this was to see if they were able to recognize and organize their features in relation to each other, and create a holistic image.

Would they be able to see and make sense of the individual parts which make up their faces? And, at what point would they glean that these pieces together formed images of themselves?

Prior to gluing everything down, the children were given time to explore the pieces. From the beginning, they saw the pieces as depicting parts of their own image.

It was interesting the observe the children as they organized their work. They seemed to display an understanding of the placement and orientation  of their features – that their eyes go above their noses and their mouths go on the bottom, etc.

There I am! That’s so funny. Hi, me! My eyes are in pieces that I put together. Look at that! I have to find my hair parts
“It’s a puzzle! A me-puzzle!”

Reflecting on the children’s process and work, it is fascinating to really look at what they have done. They have decoded the separate images and put them together in ways which make sense.

Not only were they able to “see” and understand their own images, they were able to do the same with the work of their friends by guessing correctly who each person was in the finished abstracted work. This led us to wonder and question…

Was it their connection and relationship and growing knowledge of each other that helped to give them the “clues” they needed in order to decode the abstracted images? Would they be able to do the same with people they do not know as well?


Reflection by Kelly Blondin, Art Specialist

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