Rashid Johnson, Untitled Anxious Red Drawing, 2020

Family Saturday at Home: About Me

On the occasion of his online exhibition 'Untitled Anxious Red Drawings', this ‘Family Saturday at Home’ is inspired by artist Rashid Johnson.

Take part in our popular Family Saturdays from the comfort of home with a series of creative, hands-on activities to enjoy together with your children. These are aimed at 6+ but can be easily adapted and guided for younger children. For this session, we will focus on our own identity.

Rashid Johnson, Untitled Anxious Red Drawing, 2020

About Rashid Johnson

Rashid Johnson was born in 1977 in Chicago. He studied at Columbia College and then the School of the Art Institute, Chicago and now lives and works in New York. He began his artistic career as a photographer, but he now works across media, including video, sculpture, painting, and installation. He uses a wide variety of materials to address issues of African American identity and history.

You can find out more about Rashid Johnson here.

You will need:

Anything that you can find at home and are allowed to use! As a child Rashid Johnson would be intrigued by the range of books on his mother’s bookshelves, from philosophy to fiction, whereas his father was a CB radio enthusiast and kept all sorts of objects and read autobiographies. Rashid Johnson does not see his work as autobiographical, but clearly recognises the significance of these early experiences on the way he makes his work and the materials that he uses.

Activity 1:
Draw yourself

You will need a piece of paper, a coloured pen and a stopwatch or kitchen timer.

Fold the piece of paper into 8 equal sections. Using a coloured pen you will make eight drawings. The subject of your drawing should be your face (a self portrait). Start the first drawing, and give yourself 40 seconds. When the time is up, start your second drawing in the next section and give yourself 30 seconds... then, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 and finally 2 seconds!

Work as quickly as you can to make each drawing complete, what will you draw first, does it matter what it looks like?!

Each time you draw your self portrait, you will have less time to complete it

Activity 2: Make a self-portrait collage

Use collage to develop a self-portrait made up of photographs and objects that represent who you are. It could be images of places that you go to on holiday, your favourite food or music band or book etc. You could include 3D objects or even make your collage from your favourite colour only (monotone).

Use paper and magazines that you can cut up

Activity 3

Imagine that you could fly to another country, where would you go? Make a parachute and launch it in your house or garden, where will it land?

You will need:

  • parachute material: plastic bag, material or an old cloth, or a coffee filter

  • strings: cotton thread, yarn or string

  • a person or weight

Make your own parachute

  • Cut a 20 cm square out of a plastic shopping bag, a piece of cotton cloth, or tissue paper. Or use the coffee filter, many of which are a similar size

  • Cut lengths of yarn or string to 20 cm

  • Cut holes in the corners of the parachute and tie the string on. (You may want to put a bit of tape on top to make sure the material/plastic does not tear)

  • Tie the 4 strings together with a shorter piece of yarn and use this to tie the strings to the weight

  • For the weight you could use a small toy person or animal or even model yourself from plasticine or clay

Release your parachute from a height indoors or outside. You could try different materials, yarns or weights to see which one flies the best!

Release your parachute from a height!

We would love to see what you create!

Can you photograph your artwork or ask someone to help you? Here are two easy ways to share your artwork with us:

For further activities we recommend:
  Our artists have created a series of downloadable colouring pages to bring some creativity to your day. Download the ‘ARTatHome’ coloring-in sheet by Rashid Johnson here. National Gallery America: Expressing the Individual Identity Crisis: a fun interactive game for groups that know each other well National Portrait Gallery: Young People’s Guide to Self-Portraiture Tate Gallery: Which Art Hairstyle Should You Get?

Family Saturdays have been a popular monthly event at Hauser & Wirth Somerset and Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles. As we embark on our new shared reality, our education team will continue to create activities connected to our exhibitions and artists – encouraging practical hands-on tasks and imaginative narratives to enjoy together as a family.