10th September 2004 at 01:00

Ask pupils to collect pictures of insects, animals, birds and all sorts of plant life from magazines. Cut up and combine to make creatures of the future. For a critical studies link, discuss the process, termed "frottage", much used by the Surrealists, particularly Andre Masson, to produce strange composite creatures (see "Stratified rocks", 1920 and "There is no finished world", 1942). Other artists to consider are Hieronymus Bosch, particularly the right-hand panel of "Garden of earthly delights", which has a butterfly with a bird's head; or the contemporary sculpture of Luiz Jimenez - in "Progress" the sculptor amalgamates a hunter, a horse and a buffalo into one pyramid. Pupils should consider the "rules for designing animals" described in the article, when assembling their creatures.

For an interesting additional challenge, insist that pupils pass on two or three collage pieces they have collected, such as an elephant's trunk or a bird's wing, to be incorporated into the work of a fellow classmate. If each pupil produces a fantasy animal, insect or bird,these can be assembled on a large-scale frieze with a central landmass, sections for different climates, and surrounding sea and sky, creating an unusual and imaginative display.

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