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Lesson Plans


The Web of Life: The Art of John Biggers

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Nancy Walkup (walkup)
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 11:27:13 CST6CDT

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ArtsEdNetters:

Kathrine Walker asked about the possible meaning of the use of
"strings" in a Biggers' work entitled "The Holy Family," a work
by Biggers at the Beach Museum of Art, a work not included in
"The Web of Life" on ArtsEdNet. The piece is similar to
"Three Generations" and "The House My Father Built" in its use
of "strings" that flow from upper central figures' mouths and
from the hands of a child.

In Biggers' work, such strings often represent the spoken word that
passes traditions and knowledge from one generation to another.
In "Starry Crown" (the first work introduced in "The Web of
Life"), the women on either side of the central figure are creating a cradle
with the string. This action symbolizes creativity and is a
reference to both the weaving of stories through oral
tradition and to string games played by children who had no other
toys.

Kathrine said many of their visitors draw parallels in the work
with Christian iconography and African traditions. I'll pass
along her request for more information to Dr. Biggers.

Also, we have reorganized the contents page and added the titles
of the seven "lessons." What do you think is the best approach
to introducing Biggers' work to your students?

Nancy

Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
PO Box 305100, University of North Texas
Denton, TX 76203
walkup
940/565-3986 FAX 940/565-4867


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