Last Updated: Thursday, July 30, 2020

Back to school – new beginnings artwork – secondary

What is this?

In this activity, young people will create pieces of art and graphics to represent the idea of new beginnings.

For young people at S1/S2/S3

“Take your marks…”

You may recognise this phrase from athletics, when the official starter asks the athletes to get into position to start their race. In athletics, it is usually followed by the official saying “set” and then firing the starter’s pistol. You may have heard a similar phrase from horse racing, where commentators will describe the horses and riders as being “under starter’s orders”.

There are lots of images, phrases and procedures for something starting. Some examples are the sunrise, a green light at traffic lights, a countdown (“10, 9, 8…”) for the launch of a rocket, or phrases like “clear for take-off” for aircrafts, and more. Most shops put up an “open” sign to get daily business underway, and most schools use a bell or other sound to signal the start of the school day.

  • Your task is to create some art, graphics or a design to communicate the idea of the start of something new. For example, is it the landscape at dawn, a Formula 1 race starting, a rocket launch, a new-born baby’s first cry or the referee’s whistle at the start of a game?
  • You can use one or more of the “starter” ideas above, or choices of your own, to make your creation. It could be a collage of all these phrases, images and more. It could be a painting of an urban scene with sunrise reflected in the windows of buildings. It could be a graphics piece with a phrase like “new beginnings” created in an ornate font, with colourful decoration. You could use hand-drawn or computer graphics to create a pattern of “starter” words, phrases or images to use for a computer screensaver, or for print on posters, textiles, tee-shirt logos, shopping bags or wallpaper.
  • If you can access a smartphone, you could use the photo and graphics functions to build up a collection of images of “beginnings”. You could enhance the images, organise them as a gallery, and prepare the gallery as a presentation with accompanying music. Would a local shop you know perhaps like an original piece of artwork – yours! – to show when the shop or café is open? These are all just ideas to get you started, and you could discuss your thoughts with friends or family to help develop your work.
  • If you get enjoyment from art and graphics, why not take the idea of new beginnings a stage further, by creating a gallery of pieces using different ideas and media? Build up a portfolio over several days, using new ideas that you will think of as the days pass. Use it to record all the stages of your thinking about new beginnings and the pieces you create. Be sure to keep the portfolio as a source of pride in the work you have created. It could be a very important example of the standard of your work.