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Re: Art of India

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From: John Scott (jscott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 22 2004 - 13:14:56 PDT


A couple years ago we had an artist in residence who discussed art of India
with my high school freshmen art history students. We were studying how
artists make statements with their work, and I prepared them for her by
giving some background before her time with them. She discussed the Ganesh
festival (long story short, a religious festival that was designed in part
as a political protest). The sculptures are all unfired clay, and at the end
of the festival, the sculptures, they're dumped into the river to return to
the earth (flower decorations and all).

We then did a similar project where all the students made clay figures
without heads, and separate heads (all different animals instead of all
elephant head like they would be for Ganesh). Then as a twist, I made the
students trade heads with others in the class randomly. We had snakes, a
rabbit, an elephant, a beaver, and many other animals. After a week on
display in our gallery, we took a walking field trip to the river where we
put our temporary sculptures in and they "melted" away. The only thing we
were very careful to do was make sure only the clay ended up in the river,
and I limited the size of the sculptures so they wouldn't take a long time
to break down.

John Scott
Hayes High School
Delaware, OH

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