Crossing Borders / Curriculum Link / Art Making Activities / Bini Abidi

Art Making Activities

Listen to the interviews with the artists on this site and study their work.

The work of these artists explores key issues affecting the world today eg environment, war, identity.

  • What key world issues do you feel passionately about eg global warming, racism etc?
  • Brainstorm creative ideas for helping to resolve these issues.
  • Describe and discuss the use of media and techniques that each artist has chosen to explore their issue(s).
  • Discuss how the media and techniques contribute to conveying the artists' ideas about these issues.

Starting Points

Consider the following suggestions as starting points to explore your own ideas about issues that interest you.

List of Artists

Bani Abidi | Lorraine Connelly-Northy | eX de Medici | Yinka Shonibare | Yee I-Lann

Bini Abidi as inspiration

from Reconstruction 2003
colour DVD, sound, 1:24
Collection of the artist
© Bani Abidi

The artist has used a current event (The U.S. invasion of Iraq) as a starting point for her video work, Reconstruction. She uses clear symbols to illustrate the messages she is conveying eg Traditional Iraq is evoked by an intricately patterned, antique Iraqi carpet.

  • Choose a current topic or issue of strong interest to you and which arouses opposing points of view eg area of Australian politics, stem cell research , Creationism versus Evolution.
  • Collect images which could act as symbols for each viewpoint (consider making your own drawings, photographs, printmaking, video footage as well as collecting images from the media or the internet)
  • Create a short video or Powerpoint presentation which represents both sides of the argument and/or shows the possible implications on today's world if one side were to play a dominant role in society.
  • Consider making a sound track by creating your own music, recording relevant sounds in a variety of environments or using a computer program designed for musical composition.
  • Visit the Philosophy,Thinking and International Baccalaureate, Theory of Knowledge: The Arts page on this site where people from different walks of life have written definitions of what 'Crossing Borders' means to them.
  • Choose a definition which appeals to you. Collect headlines from newspapers and magazines. Use them to create a two or three dimensional text-based work inspired by ideas emanating from this definition. Manipulate the text on a photocopier or computer if larger or coloured text is required. Consider how you might display this text in an unusual way to communicate your idea eg over and within stacked open boxes.
  • Choose a key world issue which is important to you. Research the issue and collect relevant articles and photographs from the media as source material.
  • Plan and create an artwork which would heighten awareness of this issue and/or generate creative ideas for resolving the issue in the future. Consider the type of artform, media and techniques which would communicate your issue most effectively.