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Language Articulation in a medicinal plant garden
Sunday 7 December 2008
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To extrapolate the human field from :
- a scientific approach
- observation to personal implication by developing an original verbal and artistic vocabulary


To understand the expressionism and symbolism notions


To build up the different stages of a personal research


- Outside: sketch book, camera, camcorder
- Inside: all the material answering the objectives chosen by the pupil


The Medicinal Plant Garden: information given by the medicinal plant garden director, each pupil makes an enrichment file (texts, photos, paintings, artistic creations…) that allows the dialogue during the personal research



1) Visit of the medicinal plant garden.Meet the director, professor of biology at the UCL:

- historical explanation
- scientific and didactic goal
- plant description

2) Walk and analyse in the garden:

- integration in the environment
- architectural structure of space and greenhouse
- feel, touch, observe the plants
- sketches, photos, video…

3) Inside/workshop:

Realise the immediate link between plant and human:

“I can’t work on a subject without searching myself medicinal plants, seeing what they cure, observing and drawing them. I must also taste them and try to use them to cure myself. I begin with this first idea then I try to draw an artistic work from my experimentation. But more than anything else I must see, smell, taste, search and find them.?

4) Search special objectives:

- expressing in volume a symbolic language to represent the body, disease and cure
- searching a space associating two languages: figurative and abstract Figurative: reality of the plant in space, work on the shape

Abstract: plant effect, work on the colour

- building up an initiatory route (in relation to the Cuelho’s Alchemist)
- deepening the theme

5) Search artistic means suitable to the objectives:

- Expressionism: shape deformation, colour amplification: pain
- Symbolism: from personal to universal experience

6) Search technical means in relation to the artistic means.


- Display the works, work with space: dialogue with other pupils
- See the film “Trees (“Arbres) directed by a botanist


With the older children: study ad for a parallel medicine or an herbalist.



Realise that:

- from a scientific approach, an expressive and personal work can be developed
- the artistic vocabulary allows a universal communication.

Anne Dejaifve .Lycée Martin V École d’Application U.C.L Option Art Louvain-la-Neuve Belgique

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