Words in Art
The huge steel sheet with cut out letters outside the Titanic Museum in Belfast is the simplest form of the use of words in art. The sculpture uses steel of the same thickness as the hull of the famous ship to spell out the name. In Dundee there is a memorial to the hard-working women and children of Dundee's jute industry which quotes a song and a poem. In Altringham letters are inscribed in steel with words to welcome visitors to the town and in Glasgow a large stainless steel cylinder has the words of a poem around it.
Are these objects art or are they just a different way of displaying text? Words have a defined meaning and are used together to tell a story or transmit information but should they be used in sculpture and painting?
You decide and then have a go at writing some text for a sculpture or a painting.
Key Stage:KS 2 English, KS2&3 Art
Overview:This lesson can be used to:
- start a creative writing project.
- help develop writing skills particularly writing for an audience with a lower reading age.
- begin an investigation into posters, slogans and campaigns.
Examples of Words in Art - Jute Women
Similar to the Titantic sculpture here again the words are cut out of metal sheet. This work is a memorial to the hard-working women and children of Dundee's bygone jute industry. The sculpture was the idea of a local resident who had been a jute weaver in her early years. She had campaigned that jute workers should be recognised for their contribution to Dundee. The text cut into the curved steel plates quotes a song and a poem.
Examples of Words in Art - Altrincham Totem
A lacquered steel, metal slab inscribed with words which are intended to announce a visitors arrival at the town and welcome local residents home. The work contains the repeated words 'Altrincham Market Town 1290' which light up at night.
Examples of Words in Art - The Tree that Never Grew
Three views of a work by Jennifer Grant that is composed of stainless steel letters that make a poem that spirals up the column in Glasgow, Scotland.
Discuss the question...Is this a sculpture or is it a poem?
Or is it both?
All Schools Should be Art Schools
This work by Bob and Roberta Smith has a simple message which you may or not agree with.
Is it a sculpture?
Is it a painting?
Is it a sign?
Is it a slogan?
All of the above?
Vote now and then discuss the results of your poll.
Peas Are the New Beans
This painting by Bob and Roberta Smith is bright, colourful and features an original slogan created by the artist.
What slogan would you put on a painting? What would you campaign for? It could be serious or trivial but it must be short and catchy.
I Believe in Joseph Mallard William Turner
This is another painting by Bob and Roberta Smith. Joseph Millard William Turner was one of the greatest British painters of all time.
Who would you honour? Choose your own hero and make your own version of this painting.
I Believe in template
If you are struggling with lettering you could get started by using our template and then add your own hero and colour scheme. Be creative with your choice of colours and role models.
Download I believe in template.pdf