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Are you ready to Tryout?

Posted 1 October 2014 by Kat

Oi over here! Yes here! We are very excited here at Tate Kids because we have a very cool project coming to the blog and we want you to be equally, if not more excited!

*Drum roll please….*

We are starting a project called The Textile Tryouts!

What you need to know:
• There is a new art installation that is being made in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall by the artist Richard Tuttle. He will be very important in all of this.

• Richard Tuttle mainly likes 3 things: textiles (fabrics, materials like cotton and wool), text (words, poems, sentences) and the everyday (an interesting thing, which we will be looking into during the project).

We will be setting activities – we are going to call these ‘Tryouts’ that you can do at home or in the classroom which are all to do with textiles, text and the everyday. We will be exploring, weaving, performing, painting, drawing, climbing, sticking, writing, cutting and playing to make all different types of art!

• You will get to meet the artist Sarah Sanders and she will be setting some of her own ‘Tryouts’. You’ll get a great insight into how artists think and artistic processes!

We want to see what you make! We will be asking you to submit your art work via email – kids@tate.org.uk - (or your parents, guardians and teachers can tweet it at us using #textiletryouts!) and then we will showcase a selection of your artworks here on Tate Kids and you can comment on the artworks made by other children all over the world! We have a few Terms and Conditions that go along with this which we’d recommend having a look at.

Interested? Excited? We thought so! The first tryout will be up on 14th October! We’ll see you there!

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What is…Surrealism?

Posted 24 September 2014 by Kat

Why has an artist painted a massive sunflower at the top of some stairs? What has a lobster got in common with a telephone? Why paint a fish flying?

Dali (one of the most famous Surrealists) once wrote, ‘I do not understand why, when I ask for a grilled lobster in a restaurant, I am never served a cooked telephone’.

Salvador Dalí, Lobster Telephone 1936, © Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation/DACS, London 2014

Salvador Dalí Lobster Telephone 1936, © Salvador Dali, Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation/DACS, London 2014

A bit confused? Don’t worry, so are we.

Let’s start at the beginning. Surrealism began in the 1920s. It was all about experimenting with your imagination. Surrealists looked at Sigmund Freud for inspiration. He thought and wrote about the mind, memories and human instincts.

Surrealists liked to put objects together, that were not normally seen together! Like a starfish and a shoe in this painting below by Marcel Mariën. How about drawing a tree with a scarf on or a squirrel with a monocle?

Marcel Mariën, Star Dancer 1991 © DACS, 2014

Marcel Mariën, Star Dancer 1991 © DACS, 2014

There are mainly 2 types of Surrealist artworks. The first is about dreams. Here is Paul Nash’s Landscape from a Dream. What do you think about when you look at it? Does it look like your dreams?

Paul Nash, Landscape from a Dream 1936–8 © Tate

Paul Nash, Landscape from a Dream 1936–8 © Tate

If you were to draw your dream what would it look like? Maybe you could make the landscape of your dreams on My Imaginary City?

Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 1943 © DACS, 2014

Dorothea Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik 1943 © DACS, 2014

The painting above looks a bit like a nightmare! Surrealist artists liked looking at dark subjects and things that couldn’t be easily explained. That girl looks like she has had a bit of a shock! What do you think is happening in this painting? I wonder what that light is coming through the door?

The second type of Surrealist artwork is called ‘automatism’. This is about doing things automatically without thinking, like doodling on a page or word-association. For example, when I say ‘green’ what do you think about? Grass? Grapes?

Here’s Joan Miró’s The Great Carnivore. It’s like a big doodle which he then created a monster from! Have you ever drawn a scribble and then tried to find characters in it?

Joan Miró The Great Carnivore 1969 © Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2014

Joan Miró The Great Carnivore 1969 © Succession Miro/ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2014

Quite a bit of Surrealist artwork uses collage, like this artwork by Sir Roland Penrose.

Sir Roland Penrose, Le Grand Jour 1938 © The estate of Sir Roland Penrose

Sir Roland Penrose, Le Grand Jour 1938 © The estate of Sir Roland Penrose

If you were to cut up a magazine and then place the different images together, what kind of story could you tell?

Do you like Surrealism? Which Surrealist artist is your favourite? Do you have any other questions about Surrealism? Let us know in the comments below.

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Tate Kids visits Tate St Ives

Posted 17 September 2014 by Kat

Last week Tate Kids took a little trip down to Tate St Ives to see what amazing things there are for kids down in Cornwall! It was also great to hear about new future projects that will be happening over the next year too!

Tate St Ives c. Tate

Tate St Ives c. Tate

St Ives habour c. Tate

St Ives habour c. Tate

St Ives is very pretty and has all the great seaside things, like ice cream, fish and chips and buckets and spades!

Porthmeor beach c. Tate

Porthmeor beach c. Tate

There is the Barbara Hepworth Museum which was the house of the artist who filled a whole garden with her beautiful sculptures. Have you played our Hepworth game? You can also write postcards to Barbara Hepworth at the house! What would you write?

Barbara Hepworth Garden. c.Tate

Barbara Hepworth Garden. c.Tate

Her studio, where she made all her work, is here too. Do you have a place where you make art? Does it look like this?

Barbara Hepworth's Studio c. Tate

Barbara Hepworth’s Studio c. Tate

Tate St Ive’s has an activity on the beach and in the gallery for kids every Wednesday called Toddle Tate. They have this fabulous suitcase with lots of exciting objects in. Last week they made potato prints of sculptures inspired by Hepworth.

Toddle Tate suitcase c. Tate

Toddle Tate suitcase c. Tate

Potato print in Toddle Tate c. Tate

Potato prints in Toddle Tate c. Tate

It was also really exciting to see that you can play on Tate Kids in the gallery too! Perfect!

Tate Kids at Tate St Ives c. Tate

Tate Kids at Tate St Ives c. Tate

Have you been to Tate St Ives? What did you think?

Tate Kids on the beach c. Tate

Tate Kids on the beach c. Tate

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Who is…J.M.W Turner?

Posted 11 September 2014 by Kat

Meet J.M.W Turner (the J.M.W stands for Joseph Mallord William by the way), he was born in London in 1775, his dad was a barber and many people consider him the first modern painter! The art critic, John Ruskin said he was ‘the greatest of the age’. Let’s see what you think!

J.M.W Turner, Self-Portrait c.1799 c. Tate

J.M.W Turner, Self-Portrait c.1799 c. Tate

Turner was a landscape painter, traveller, poet and teacher. When he was just fourteen years old he became a student at the Royal Academy of Art in London.

He painted great moments in history and fantastic stories, which often challenged the styles of older painters. Turner was known as “the painter of light”. Lots of Turner’s paintings are romantic and dream-like. Many of Turner’s later artworks resemble the Impressionist style of painting which happened in France in the years to come. Can you see how they are similar?

J.M.W Turner, Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus exhibited 1839, c. Tate

J.M.W Turner, Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus, exhibited 1839, c. Tate

He also made dark, epic paintings, which had great atmosphere, like the below artwork Snow Storm: Hannibal  and his Army Crossing the Alps. Do you prefer his light or dark paintings?

J.M.W Turner, Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps exhibited 1812, c. Tate

J.M.W Turner, Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps, exhibited 1812, c. Tate

Even when he was older, Turner was a radical artist. He painted scenes which commented on the government at the time. He also painted new industries and technology, like ships and trains.

J.M.W Turner, Steamer and Lightship; a study for ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ c.1838–9 c Tate

J.M.W Turner, Steamer and Lightship; a study for ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ c.1838–9 c Tate

What do you think he would paint today to show new technology?

Turner still inspires modern artists. Olafur Eliasson has recently made Turner Colour Experiments which look at the colour and atmosphere in Turner’s paintings. This one is inspired by one of Turner’s first oil paintings, Fishermen at Sea. Can you see the similar colours in both of them? Which one do you prefer? Do they both make you feel the same?

Olafur Eliasson Colour experiment no. 60 2014 © 2013 Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson
Colour experiment no. 60 2014
© 2013 Olafur Eliasson

J.M.W Turner, Fishermen at Sea, exhibited 1796 c. Tate

J.M.W Turner, Fishermen at Sea, exhibited 1796 c. Tate

We are very excited about our new Turner exhibition which opened yesterday at Tate Britain. We have a Discovering Turner game, a Turner Tate Tales and a Tate Create, all just a click away to make your own great Turner-inspired creations. We just think Turner is great! What do you think?

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The final days of summer!

Posted 27 August 2014 by Kat

Brrrr it’s getting colder in London (where I am writing this blog from)! The nights are drawing in and there are a few less trips to the beach and the park in the diary!

I wanted to just say that it’s ok! We’ve had a great summer with the Matisse Family Day (our Matisse exhibition is still open for a few more weeks!) and Tate’s trip to Camp Bestival. Here are some of our snaps!

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

Above is Lorraine Leaves (the lovely lady in the green) who led the workshop on making headpieces about family rituals.

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

We used lots of different plants and ferns in the headdresses.

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

Plus plenty of glitter!

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

photo credit. Felicity Crawshaw

Looks like a great time and some fantastic creations were made!

We also had a huge Matisse Family Day at Tate Modern with giant fruit, live jazz, collages and lots of drawing!

photo credit: Tate

photo credit: Tate

Mastering the art of doodling!

photo credit: Tate

photo credit: Tate

Fantastic giant collages inspired by the Matisse cut-outs.

photo credit: Tate

photo credit: Tate

Now we are in the final days of summer, what are you doing in your last few days? Have you made any artwork over the summer months? We’d love to see it! Email in your creations to: kids@tate.org.uk

Psssst! It’s not all doom and gloom, there are lots of exciting things coming up in autumn on Tate Kids and all will be revealed in upcoming blog posts! Can’t wait!

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