2014, Plaster in Glass Jar, 10 x 11 cm, Series of 12

By HAIROL MD HOSSAIN, Anderson Secondary School, Art Coordinator

This installation – where I cast my own lips using plaster bandage – depicts the everyday restraint in my speech. Spray-painted red, the lips illustrate the desire to be heard. But our words are sometimes trapped in a vacuum.

We celebrate freedom of speech and expression. But just how free is speech? Speech is necessarily curtailed for good – and not so good – reasons. Words can hurt. We watch our language so as not to aggravate others. We do not speak our minds as a way of showing respect and consideration for others. We mince our words, because it is not politically correct to be frank. Sometimes, the truth is just too painful to tell.

Lesson Ideas for Restraint… (2014) by Hairol Md Hossain

This lesson is suitable for students in: Upper Secondary

Artwork title: Restraint…

Name of artist: Hairol Md Hossain

School: Anderson Secondary School

Possible Guiding Questions

1. What objects do you see in the pictures?

2. What could be the reasons the artist used this objects? How do you think the works were made and put together?

3. Why do you think the artist use red colour?

4. Suggest a few ways to rearrange the objects without deviating from the artist’s intent.

Possible Elegant Art Tasks

Starting point: artist as origin; personal relationships

In this lesson idea, students could explore the creation of vessels to store secrets. The teacher could show various stimuli for different cultures, including a story, relating to objects that are used to store personal artefacts. Students can be guided to make a vessel in ceramics using slab work, but they must depict something that suggests what they are storing. Students can write a letter to themselves, revealing the secret, anxieties or other emotions that they may want to keep inside this vessel.

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