Activity cards

the bigger picture

The bigger picture

In order to stimulate imagination and use humour, participants are given a blank sheet of A4 or A3 paper with a photograph glued in the middle of the empty page. The photograph can be a portrait of one of the residents, for example, (archival or current) or any image from a magazine that the participant finds interesting or intriguing. Their task is to use pens/brushes/markers/pencils to expand the image onto the blank space, to complete the photograph by extending lines and elements in it, according to their imagination, all the way to the edges of the blank paper. There can be a brief for the residents to follow, in order to make the task manageable, for example,” Using a portrait of Julie, complete the image and create a scene in which Beryl is a circus performer.”

Materials Required:

  • Photographs or images cut out of a magazine
  • Blank A4 or A4 paper
  • Glue
  • A selection of Pencils, Colour Pens, Markers, Paints or other materials suitable to mark paper

Step by Step Guide:

  1. Ask participants to choose an image they wish to extend
  2. Have a conversation around why they chose the image and what idea for an adventurous adaptation they have planned for it
  3. Ask the participants to glue the image onto the blank sheet of paper (they choose where on the sheet the image is going to be according to what final image they have in mind)   
  4. Participants use drawing/painting tools to draw an extension of the image. They can be as creative as they wish and encouraged to use any materials they find visually interesting
  5. Participants share their completed images in an in-situ exhibition after the session and ask their peers to give a title to their piece.

Ideas for Further Activities with This Idea:

This activity could be conducted over time to make a calendar, for example. It could be extended to staff members as a form of a celebration. This is a good gift for a member of staff or family member. The images can be displayed in the communal space or on participants’ private doors, etc.

There is a great humorous potential in this activity.


Ways to adapt for less able residents:

Support can be offered where you help guide the drawing tool, or by offering larger pens/pencils/brushes. Describe the picture if necessary and ask what the resident imagines is happening outside of this. 

Ways to adapt from group to individual and vice versa: 

Individual participants, and groups, can both easily enjoy this activity. 

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