Yasmeen Kamrani Sallam
Invitation to Create Frida Kahlo's Clothes
Frida Kahlo was one of the greatest Mexican artists of the 20th. She grew up during the Mexican Revolution, which was an event that heavily influenced her life & art. At the age of 6 Frida caught polio, which left her with a slightly deformed & shorter leg. When she was only 18, Frida suffered a bus accident that would affect her health throughout her life. While recovering in hospital over many months, Frida started to paint. Her parents set her up an easel & – as she was the subject to which she had the greatest access – rigged up a mirror above her hospital bed. Within a year of her accident, Frida had painted her first mature painting. Due to these two incidents Frida turned to fashion to conceal her differences. Her one of a kind vibrant colors, exquisite floral, & geometric embroidery, set her apart as she paid tribute to her origin while expressing her Mexican pride.
We read about Frida Kahlo's life, looked at a book that is dedicated to Frida's wardrobe, and saw images of her in a lot of the same outfits. Afterwards, we invited the children to create dresses like Frida with fabric scraps, ribbons, flowers, foam shapes, pom poms, glue, and butcher paper.
Experimenting with different media and varying textures always brings a special spark of interest and engagement because of the open ended process for children. Children who engage in process art such as this learn to think with an open mind, to look at situations creatively, and empower their talents. They develop critical-thinking skills through making self-directed decisions, how to use different materials, or how to work with one another to make a collaborative piece. By creating freely children gain confidence while acquiring the foundation to look at the world with the confidence that they can accomplish any goal. When children create art, they are proud to be unique and take risks, while honoring their innate creative artistic style.
Here are other ways to explore Frida Kahlo: