Last March, I attended an arts conference in Seattle where the keynote speaker was artist Nick Cave. Nick Cave started making soundsuits after the 1991 beating of Rodney King. A soundsuit covers the wearer from head to toe and acts as armour against the world's violence and prejudice. When worn, identity is magically erased. The 'self' becomes free of labels and one can masquerade as a life-force truly free. More information on Nick Cave's soundsuits can be found HERE.
I decided to teach students about soundsuits. I used the concepts of identity, labels, bullying, transformation, and anonymity in my teaching.
We then made soundsuits of our own!
All of the materials we used for our soundsuits were found or recycled. I taught students how to sew and to make composite strands using glue guns. Three suits were created and they were put on display at the our school. The feedback from students has been wonderful.
"Cool! When are we going to perform in the suits," asked one student.
"Can I wear it?" asked another.
"I feel like a creature," said a student who was wearing the suit.
Overall, the soundsuit project was not only an excellent artistic project that taught the students about various art techniques, but it also offered students deep learning on inclusivity and acceptance.