Saturday Art Club -Playful Patterns

In this Saturday Art Club, we will have some fun creating colourful patterns onto paper, inspired by the work of Hanneline Visnes in our Domestic Bliss exhibition.

The artwork of Hanneline Visnes hangs on the wall of the Domestic Bliss exhibition in gallery 4. These large MDF boards are painted with intricate patterns. The artist uses very small brushes to paint the patterns with oil paint – it must have taken her a very long time!
These colourful and exciting patterns are inspired by the patterns woven into textiles from Uzbekistan, called “Suzanis”. Suzanis are elaborately embroidered wall hangings, bed covers and curtains designed by professional draughtswomen and then embroidered by hand by all the women of the family. They formed part of a ‘dowry’ (an amount
of property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage). William Burrell collected wonderful examples of Suzanis and these can be seen once the Burrell Collection reopens after an extensive redisplay.
Why not have a go at creating some wonderful patterns yourself? Rather than drawing freehand as these ladies would have done many years ago, try out this simple technique for creating colourful patterns onto paper.

You will need:

  • A4 paper
  • paint or felt tip pens
  • scissors

Take a sheet of A4 paper and fold in half to A5, half again to A6 and then fold into a triangle keeping the centre of the paper to the middle.

The next step is very similar to making a paper snowflake: cut out shapes from the triangle and fold it out to have an interesting pattern.

Now put another blank sheet of paper under your cut paper and use this to paint or colour through the holes with paint or felt tips. Try to keep each shape the same colour. if you have a larger piece of paper you can begin to make a repeating pattern.

This technique is called ‘stencilling’ and can be used on fabrics and walls for example. If you have lots of time you can make your patterns very intricate, similar to what Hanneline Visnes has done with her paintings.

We hope you enjoyed this activity! Share your results with us or comment below!

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