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Grade 8 IDU: When Art Meets Therapy

In English, students will have studied a range of poems from ‘The Poetry Pharmacy: Tried and True Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind and Soul’ and completed a compare and contrast essay as part of their summative task for that unit. Students will be able to understand how poets use certain literary techniques to convey emotions and mental health issues and then use this knowledge in the creation of their own poems to address mental health issues people face today. 

In Art, students will have studied surrealism as a ‘turning point’ in art history and learnt how symbolism is used in art to convey big ideas. Drawing on the work from the Dada and Surrealist movement, students will have transferred the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired throughout the unit and create a unique artwork to both summarize their learning and also explore their own personal ideas.

Mr. Adam Darell (English) and Mr. James Chan (Art)

Happiness by Audrey, Grade 8

Faces lighten up;
Happiness -
A simple thing.
Coming home 
After a long day of work,
To a hug, waiting for you

Happiness -
No money can buy.
Coming home 
In the cold and the rain 
To a nice warm dinner, waiting for you. 

Happiness, like finding little bits of treasure
That brings us more wealth than we can ever imagine. 
How can you bring happiness to other people’s lives?
Where will you plant the next treasure?

“Happiness, like finding little bits of treasure, That brings us more wealth than we can ever imagine.” is a quote from my poem happiness, I decided to use this quote because you can’t buy real happiness with money, so it’s like treasure, and treasure is hard to find and real happiness is like the treasure it’s hard to find.  “Coming home, In the cold and the rain, To a nice warm dinner, waiting for you.” I chose that quote because it’s like describing after a long tired day of work and coming home with a heavy heart and a rainy day, and then suddenly a change of heart because of the warm and happy welcome by your family members. 

Audrey, Grade 8

Will Power By Amanda, Grade 8

Determination, the art of holding on
Even during the hardest times
Trying when things feel futile 
Expected or unexpected, face your fears
Refusing to fall, and get up if you do.
My friend, keep going, there are no limits
Impossible to impossible, go earn your ticket!
No need to compare, just be you!
Always stay true to yourself,
Trust the process, trust yourself.
“I can do it” will be your mantra.
Over and over- say it to yourself.
Nothing will stand in your way.

My poem is about determination, which is something I think is vital in order to complete anything. The artwork I created used watercolor, which actually also has a hidden meaning. They say to be like water, so you can be shapeless and formless (Bruce Lee). 

Determination doesn’t stay long if you are close minded and stubborn. Be like water so that you can go with the flow, while still working towards your goal. In my artwork, I painted many objects, which all symbolize the hardship and barriers many face while working for their dreams. The deflated football, for example, represents being burnt out and the lack of motivation. The objects aren’t randomly placed too, they are in the order of the problems you face from start to finish. At first, you face the struggle of learning how to do something, then it gradually transitions into being broke, which is a huge barrier you have to face when starting a business. But in my poem, I give a call to action - a mantra to help people overcome their problems. 

Amanda, Grade 8

expectations. by: Peter, Grade 8

A star in the night,
Just out of reach.
We long to shine as bright
But we are left in the abyss.
Panic grows as we try to climb out
We try, we try, we try
Thoughts collide.
Why can’t they just be content
Of our place in our universe
We raise our expectations up as high as we can
Yet it is merely a hindrance
And so what if you reach the top,
Has your satisfaction peaked?
Are you happy now?
It seems as if we still have a million miles to go
Don’t fret
Take a breath and look left, then right
Then down
And look how far you’ve come

“Expectations” expresses the stress of expectation placed on you by society. This artwork is used to further extend the metaphor within my poem, an expectation is symbolized as “A star in the night” as mentioned in my poem that accompanies this artwork. The canyon walls in the painting refer to the abyss mentioned as your try to climb out and reach your expectations. There is surrealism used in this painting as a ladder leans against the star as a way to help you reach your expectation. 

Peter, Grade 8