I created an exemplar for my S1’s Fanelli/mental health unit. It focused on the idea of taking something bad and turning it into a good thing. Quite a hard concept for S1 pupils to digest, though I think it opened up the ideas for them to be able to conceive their own work. We discussed looks and how their lives were much more focused on image and status through social profiles and networking. We also discussed how bad moments can linger and stay with us, but if you create an artwork about it, it can sometimes help deal with the situation.
My example was focused on my obsession with being too moley. I explained that I hated my skin for being too moley, but that I also love the cosmos. I explained that one day I was looking at my moles and hating them, then spotted that some of them looked exactly like the Big Dipper and other constellations. When I discovered this, I wasn’t upset about my moles anymore.
Art can be an outlet to help us deal with tragic, stressful or embarrassing times in our life. It can help us see the beauty in all moments and things by addressing them with skill and visual beauty.
This unit and exemplar were extremely successful and helped my pupils not only deal with such a moment themselves, but also let them create a beautiful, skilful piece of art. If you are a teacher, it’s worth purchasing a Fanelli book, some pattern and graph paper and giving it a go yourself.