31st October 2003 at 00:00
The eyes play a key role in expressing human emotion in art and can form the basis of an extensive unit of work at KS4, which can be deepened at KS5. For research, pupils locate an artistic image, which centres on the eye (such as Philip Guston, "Head"; Picabia,J"Catax"; Lichtenstein, "Hopeless"; Redon, "The Eye Mounts Toward Infinity") and explain the reasons for their selection.

Introduce pupils to the importance of the eye in Surrealism (Breton - "The eye exists in its savage state", or the shock effect of the cut eye in Bu$uel's film Un Chien Andalou).

Start work by getting pupils to sketch their face using a mirror. Show pupils "The False Mirror" by Magritte and Escher's close-up of an eye with a reflected skull.

Ask them to look for contrasting reflections in their eye drawings, experimenting with different light sources.

Then, using a digital camera, photograph a section of their face and reproduce this several times (reference Warhol's "Marilyn") changing the colours (using Adobe Photoshop or CorelDraw) and inserting different images in their eyes that reflect their feelings or concerns, perhaps related to political or social issues.

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