* This session uses a Pollock picture. There is one downloadable at the bottom or find your own image that would work!
- Are there any objects in this painting?
- Are there emotions in this painting?
- Is there anything in this painting?
Does this painting make sense?
Questions to take you further
Is this painting nonsense?
‘It doesn’t make sense’. ‘It’s nonsense’. Do these two sentences mean the same thing?
- Write a sentence about something that happened this week. Make sure what you write doesn’t make sense?
What if the artist wanted it to make sense – does it make sense then?
What if the artist didn’t want it to make sense – does it make sense then?
If it makes sense to the artist then does that mean that we should be able to understand it too?
What if all pictures were in this style, would it make sense then?
What if no other picture on the planet was in this style, would No. 5 make sense?
Why would somebody made something that they didn’t want you to understand?
Can you write a story about your breakfast that doesn’t make sense?
Take a student’s example, here is one from 8 year old Clara:
“Today I eat 5 bananas and 4 bananas and 5 but 6 but 7 slices with 9 jams on it.”
Q: Does Clara’s sentence succeed in not making sense?
Another example from Jane:
“I have krave breakfast with my brush after I left home 8:00 but I didn’t.”
Q: Does Jane’s sentence succeed in not making sense?
On Not Getting It, by Adam Philips
Death of the Author
Ages: Ages 16-18 (KS5), Ages 14-16 (KS4), Ages 11-14 (KS3), Ages 7-11 (KS2)
Themes: Sense and reference, Logic, Language, Art