T e a c h e r  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

The Voice of First Nations Contemporary Art

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Esquimalt High School, Victoria , British Columbia

The Contrary, 1999
Jane Ash Poitras’ painting of The Contrary, 1999
The Contrary, 1999, collage of First Nations imagery

Jane Ash Poitras (1951-)


© McMichael Canadian Art Collection. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Art!Facts
Part 1 - Critical Analysis
Study the image 'The Contrary'

create your project and copy the following into your project and complete as follows,

First describe in your own words what you see in this work of art. Write this as if you are describing it to someone over the phone. Consider the elements of design; colour, line, texture, shape, value.
Then the elements of design; composition, balance, harmony, repetition and emphasis.

What do you think the subject is?
What is she trying to say through this work?
What do you think her message it?
What is the focal point?

When you have completed this read the complete Learning object that is about this artist and this painting. Statement, Interpretation, Biography.

How does your analysis compare to this interpretation? Explain.
Part 2 - Research
Go online and find another Contemporary First Nations artist who creates art to communicate a message about their personal identity and culture.

You can choose one of the following or find another artist whose work you find interesting.

Carl Beam, Robert Houle, Brian Jungen, Daphne Odjig, Tanja Harnett,George Littlechild, Terrance Houle, Adrian Simpson, Mary Longman, Lawrence Paul Yuxwelptun, are a few that you could explore online.

Find an example of their work to name describe as you did with the 'Contrary' and a biography of the artist.

Compare their work to the work of Jane Ash Poitras . What are the similarities and differences.

What is the message of their work?

Into the class wiki, copy the url of the website that gave you the best information and the url of an image of their work. Include a brief statement about why you admire their work.
Part 3 - Create
1-Create your own mixed media work of art that expresses your cultural and personal identity inspired by one of the contemporary artists that you have learned from during this research project.

2- Upon completion write a reflective statement about your work of art. How you created it, the process you used to build your image and how you feel about the finished piece. Create a Blog and write this into the blog to share with the class.

Learning Objectives

Art is a powerful means of personal communication. The objective of this lesson is to look at the work of contemporary First Nations artists and how they have used their art to communicate their cultural identity and traditions.

1. Study and analyze the work ' The Contrary' created by Jane Ash Poitras.
2. Conduct online research of contemporary First Nations artists who explore themes of personal and cultural identity. Select one who is inspirational and complete a biography and share information in the class wiki.
3. Create you own work of art that communicates your individual personal and cultural identity.