In the 1940s, Henri Matisse was confined to a wheelchair and was unable to paint, so he began to make paper collages, cutting out shapes from coloured paper which he arranged into vibrant images inspired by jazz music, with the help of his studio assistant.
The children looked at the shapes in Matisse’s collages, and then cut out their own to make these bold pictures. We observed that several of Matisse’s pictures have a ‘patchwork’ background made up of different coloured squares, on top of which there are more intricate shapes and forms. So the children started their own collages in the same way, choosing six square/rectangular pieces of coloured paper which they arranged and glued onto white paper. Then they let their imaginations and their scissors run wild, cutting wiggles, blobs, stars, arches and other shapes, to create their own striking compositions.
They did such a good job, it’s hard to spot which are by the kids and which are by Matisse himself!