Appealing images

10th May 1996 at 01:00
ART THEMES. Twenty-four poster packs on various themes (for example, animals, buildings, faces, families, flowers) Minimum of 12 A4 colour posters in each pack with teacher's notes Philip Green Educational. Pounds 14 each, plus VAT

The Art Themes packs offer selections of posters with activity ideas for practical art, English or topic work. The colour reproduction is good and the posters come from a wide range of cultural traditions and media, from Barry Flanagan's hare or a Renaissance woman, to a Japanese samurai armour or an Indian miniature.

While some of the pictures will be instantly recognisable, there has been a creditable attempt to find "new" images. For instance, the Landscape pack contains one of Van Gogh's lesser-seen paintings. On the whole, the images are well-judged for instant appeal to a primary and lower secondary audience.

The teacher's notes are on the back of the pictures: two information sections describe the artist and what the picture shows in an un-stuffy way, then two activity sections give ideas for discussion and practical art activities. The latter are abundant, varied and presented as brief ideas rather than lengthy structures.

An unexpected drawback is that the written material does not always fully relate to the declared theme. For instance, the pictures in the "Clothes and Costume" pack show images of people in interesting outfits, but any information about the clothes or what they reveal about the wearers is scarce. The focus instead is on elements of colour or pattern which might appear in any picture about any subject. There are also few suggestions for ways of comparing and contrasting images.

Everyone wants posters and these packs deserve to be popular.

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