These wonderful works have been created by the Grade 10 Art Class at Murdoch MacKay Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and contributed work to the Museum of Lost Toys group. You can join the Museum of Lost Toys and submit your own contributions. You can do this by following the free downloadable activity from The History and Memory activity pack 1 in the Resource section.
This project began with some real ‘lost toys’ that have lived in my basement for far too long! I brought them to school and gave them to my class to use in a series of life drawing exercises. I was also thinking about the Lost Toys project and hoped that playing with and drawing these toys would be a good way to re-animate the not-too-distant past childhoods of my group of 15 year-olds. The students drew these toys in a series of still lives as they played with various compositional arrangements. Interestingly, a feeling of creepiness and unease developed in their work. This sense of discomfort was further exploited in our culminating projects where students chose a special toy to paint a portrait of. Strange and sometimes dark stories accompanied these lost and forlorn toy portraits. The final leg of this project involved students creating their own toys. These stuffed figures evolved out of personal memories from the students’ own childhood toys and stories.