16 October 2017

I can give you a glimpse, thanks to the independent work of students such as Macsen Friday (4L), through his initiative in producing a presentation based on the current class inquiry 'How we express ourselves.' This is an extension from the art provocation about the strange, mythical creatures called Alebrijes, invented by a South American man Pedro Linares in 1936.

"At the age of 30, Pedro had a dream while he was very sick and it was of a strange land with mixed up creatures like a donkey with wings or a rooster with an eagle's head. These creatures were calling to Pedro but another man came and told him it wasn't his time to be there and sent him to find an exit back into the living world."

The central idea being 'Myths and legends offer perspective into the beliefs and values of a culture.' In Art, we have adopted the line of inquiry 'The roles of myths and legends in different cultures, places and times.' We reflected on the changing role of the myth from 'a dream enabling Pedro to come back into the world of the living' to 'inspiring and encouraging creativity in artwork.'

Macsen, being a genuine inquirer, researched independently at home and compiled a presentation to share with the class, with each slide offering a burning question such as:

  • Is the story of the Alebrijes a myth or a legend?
  • How many types of Alebrijes are there?
  • What religion do these creatures belong to and why?
  • Do these creatures protect the living?
  • What are these creatures' purpose and why are they so famous?

This now incidentally provides a wonderful base to engage the other boys in the class in developing their inquiry, as they collectively attempt to answer the burning questions. Nic Paganin (4L) researched more along the lines of Mexico City's population, national flora and fauna, to help us tap into the cultural perspective of the artform. Ben Ramsden (4L) completed some wonderful detailed sketches of different animals to build up a bank of ideas about form for their sculpture.

Karen Sabitay

PYP Visual Arts