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Mark Making - What is it?

Making a mark is an idiomatic expression that means a deep and lasting impression has been made in history or in one’s psyche. Layla made a mark in all who engaged with her and it is not uncommon for them to say she was an advanced being that came to teach us courage and selfless love.

About Mark Making

Mark making is a way to communicate with others but also with ourselves. It is the creation of a language that shares our thoughts, ideas and wonderings. It is an invitation to enter into a conversation with others – an inter-action. Mark making is about offering a piece of ourselves, an expression of an idea that can only be fully known when it is made sense of with others.

Mark making can take many forms. It has been used by people since the dawn of civilisation as a way to tell story and record events. It has been a form of communication long before text emerged as a predominant language. It was used to assert and acknowledge your presence. It was a way to know and to be known. We have the privilege to know this through the markings of First Nation peoples that date back 60,000 years, or more. In a modern world mark making is not used much differently. It is used to share and generate ideas and expression. It still remains an invitation to be known.

Rebekah Palmer

From the Curatorial Statement from Layla: The Festival of Mark Making

Rebekah Palmer-01.jpg
Rebekah Palmer
Go to the 2023 Festival

The Process of Mark Making

1 - Sparking the senses

If you want someone to make sense of the world, you need to use the senses.

Costa Loucopoulos

Layla was given enrichment experiences that were part of her educational program. They were themed and included a range of sensory experiences that gave her joy and pleasure. These experiences were the pre-contemplative stage of her mark making, setting up her dispositions for curiosity, focus and teamwork to eventually use those skills so that her mark making was of value to her, as an expression of the joy that came from the experience.

Sue Orlovich, Early Childhood Educator mark making with Layla.

Inspirations to spark your artist's senses

The images below have been chosen to inspire you with ideas that spark the senses for young artists about to do some mark making. Touching, feeling, rubbing, ripping, smelling, soaking, listening, uttering...

2 - Mark Making

When we make art, we make marks.

Mark making communicates our thoughts, feelings and interactions. When we interact with the world, marks are made. When the world interacts with us, marks are made.

Making marks can start with just touch.

Georgia Freebody

Enjoy any process you choose


The Inspiration images above were taken during a Therapeutic Art Play (TAP) artist in residency program and feature the artwork of children. The TAP program is facilitated by Georgia Freebody, on and with Wangal land that was never ceded, while acknowledging and attuning to the lived experience, expressions, and creative acuity of young artists.

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