Art & Text: Playing with Words and Images

Combine your love of words and language with images and pictures in this hands-on art studio based short course. Learn how to use hand-made visual ideas - from simple mark-making to illustration and illumination - to respond to spoken and written language. Use drawing techniques, photography, colour and collage together with prose and poetry from favourite authors - or even use your own writing. Use super simple computer design hacks and platforms to create and distribute your own art works.  Brendan will introduce you to the many ways other artists use words, text and pictures to make contemporary art and design works. The course is suitable for students interested in anything from protest posters to children's books, from graffiti to graphic design - or for anyone who wants to investigate the dynamic relationship between writing and images.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Design is investigated as a creative art realm where play is used to develop new ways of making and doing, as well as seeing and believing.
  • Works and ideas about simple poetic word play are explored including haiku, concrete poetry and micro-poems.
  • The beauty of children’s books and the work of the artists who create them are explored.
  • Artists and designers who use text as an integral part of their work are investigated, including artists Saul Steinberg, Jean Michel Basquiat, Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger; fashion editor Anna Piaggi & graphic designer David Carson.
  • Methods, materials and process are explored: hands-on exercises involving imagination, storytelling and experimental drawing and design process are engaged within the art studio environment.
  • Ideas of chance and surprise as well as art and design elements and principles are explored in the art of composition.
  • Ideas of representation and abstraction and our intuitive responses to art and colour are also investigated. 


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Identify and become familiar with the elements of art and design and the principles and ideas involved in composition.
  2. Engage comfortably with hands on art and design activities that highlight creativity and storytelling.
  3. Discover a range of artists and art movements that play with art and text.
  4. Learn to play with materials within an art studio structure and to comfortably apply chance and intuition to the creative process. 


  • A collection of sundry pencils & pens & brushes, in any colours & styles (you don’t have to purchase anything new here for the first weeks class, just gather what you have)
  • A small watercolour set or gouache (optional, again not necessary for the first weeks class)
  • A small notepad
  • Scissors
  • UHU glue stick or clag
  • An A3 pad of Bond or Bank paper is optional; recycled paper is fine.
  • A collection of papers that interest you eg: junk mail, coloured magazine papers, transport tickets, labels, old scrap books or second hand books you are prepared to cut up, photocopied papers or any printed material - e.g., junk mail, etc.

IMPORTANT: Please arrive to the first class with all the relevant materials. A lack of materials is not just a handicap to you but to the ability to teach. Materials cost is not included in a course fee. In the event of a course being cancelled WEA cannot be held responsible for the purchase of any course materials. We therefore suggest you purchase your materials closer to the time of the course commencing.


  • The Art Scene, UNSW Art & Design Campus, Greens Rd Paddington NSW. Ph: 8815 1569
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 223-225 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, Ph: 02 9331 2166.
  • Bondi Road Art Supplies 179 Bondi Road Bondi. Ph: 9387 3746. (Closed Fridays and Sundays)
  • Eckersley’s Art and Craft Store 93 York Street Sydney, Ph: 02 9299 4151. Also at North Sydney, St Leonards, Chatswood, Caringbah, Parramatta & more.

Enquire at your art shop for a Student’s Discount with your WEA course receipt.

Want to be notified when this course is open for enrolments? Please join the waiting list by clicking .