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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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What is…Impressionism?

Posted 22 August 2014 by Kat

I’ve been doing my research and your favourite Tate Kids blog posts are ‘Who is…Henry Moore?’, ‘Who is…Andy Warhol?’ and ‘Who is…Kazimir Malevich?’. It seems you guys are keen to learn more about artists – which is great! – but I was wondering what about art movements?! Don’t start yawning just yet!

I’ve been thinking about ‘isms’! No, I haven’t gone crazy. This is the little word at the end of important movements in art, like Surrealism, Romanticism and Realism. These can all be thought of as particular styles of art at particular points in time. But why are they important? Which artists are in these ‘isms’? What makes them so special?

To start this blog series I’m picking Impressionism! Let’s go!

Impressionism started in France in the 19th Century and it’s all about painting landscapes and scenes of everyday life, like cooking, sleeping and bathing. Artists painted outdoors and ‘on the spot’, rather than in a studio from sketches. As they were outside, they looked at how light and colour changed the scenes. What time of day do you think Monet painted the trees below? What do you think the weather was like?

Poplars on the Epte, Claude Monet, 1891, c Tate

Claude Monet, Poplars on the Epte, 1891, c Tate

These artists were not trying to paint a realistic picture but an ‘impression’ of what the person, object or landscape looked like to them. They often painted thickly and used short brush strokes.

Some of the artists to know!
Claude Monet
Camille Pissarro
Alfred Sisley
Auguste Renoir
Edgar Degas

It wasn’t just in France that Impressionism existed. There was also British Impressionism, like this painting by Philip Wilson Steer. Lots of people didn’t like this style of art and thought it should have been ignored. What do you think?

Philip Wilson Steer, Girls Running, Walberswick Pier, 1888–94 c. Tate

Philip Wilson Steer, Girls Running, Walberswick Pier, 1888–94 c. Tate

Let’s take a closer look at one painting by artist, Alfred Sisley:

Alfred Sisley, The Bridge at Sèvres, 1877 c. Tate

Alfred Sisley, The Bridge at Sèvres, 1877 c. Tate

Don’t you think the weather looks lovely?
Sisley, like the other Impressionists, liked to paint sunlight. He really liked painting this bridge and painted it all the time, from different viewpoints and at different times of day. Could you paint the same scene over and over again? What about painting in the morning and at sunset? How would they look different?

There are lots of people fishing!
At the very moment Sisley was painting, people were just relaxing, strolling and doing normal things. Impressionism was meant to show the simple things in life. Looks nice doesn’t it? Maybe have a look around you when you are next on a walk in a park. Maybe grab a sketch book and draw what people are up to. Are they playing sports? Feeding the ducks? Or just going for a walk with friends?

Have you seen any Impressionist paintings recently? What do you think? Have you tried to make an Impressionist-inspired painting on one of the Tate Kids games? Let me know if there are any other ‘isms’ you’d like me to look at in the comments or email me: kids@tate.org.uk

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The robots are coming…

Posted 12 August 2014 by Kat
After Dark

They’re coming…

Have you ever wished you could have a secret robot alter ego? Or that you could wander around a gallery alone late at night? Well, now you can combine both these fantasies in one as After Dark is launched at Tate Britain!

This week, you can peek through the eyes of four robots who will be roaming the darkened galleries after all the visitors have left. They will be controlled by anyone across the world who logs on through this website.

This Friday 15 August is the best night to get involved, when the robots will be taking a turn about the galleries starting at 7.30pm (between 19.30 BST and 00.30 BST).

This is an amazing chance to control robots roaming around Tate from the comfort of your sofa! If you aren’t lucky enough to control a robot, as we expect they’ll be very popular, you can still tune-in to robot-cam and see what the robots see, and hear what they hear, in the museum after dark!

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Posted 8 August 2014 by Kat

What exactly are sculptures? You could think of it as art in 3D (three dimensions)! Sculptures can be made by carving, modelling or placing materials together. They can be made out of stone, wood, clay or any other material the artist wants to use!

Interestingly the artist Lawrence Weiner calls himself a sculptor (someone that makes sculptures), although he mainly make artworks with words on walls. Do you think this is sculpture?

Lawrence Weiner, TIED UP IN KNOTS 1988 © Lawrence Weiner

Lawrence Weiner, TIED UP IN KNOTS 1988 © Lawrence Weiner

So sculpture can be lots of things. It could even be you! I’ve picked my Top 5. What do you think?

5. Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, Edward Degas

Edgar Degas Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, 1880–1, cast c.1922 c. Tate

Edgar Degas, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, 1880–1, cast c.1922 c. Tate

Degas often drew and painted ballet dancers and then he made this sculpture of his favourite ballet student at the Paris Opera. He made her out of bronze and dressed her in silk and made her a tutu. This is one of the most popular artworks at Tate. We’ve even made a film about her!

4. Spring, Dame Barbara Hepworth

Dame Barbara Hepworth Spring 1965, cast 1966 © Bowness, Hepworth Estate

Dame Barbara Hepworth, Spring ,1965, cast 1966 © Bowness, Hepworth Estate

This artwork is called Spring. Dame Barbara Hepworth based many of her sculptures on shapes found in nature. She was inspired by pebbles, shells, cliffs and the sea. She was interested, not only in how a sculpture looks, but how it feels and even how it smells. If this sculpture smelt like spring, what would it smell like?

3. Mobile, Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder, Mobile c.1932, © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2014

Alexander Calder, Mobile, c.1932, © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2014

Imagine Alexander’s Calder’s Mobile gracefully floating above you. He uses primary colours and basic shapes to make his abstract sculptures. Movement was important to Alexander and he loved music and dance. We’re very excited as we have an entire Alexander Calder exhibition coming to Tate next year! Can’t wait!

2. Stack, Tony Cragg

Tony Cragg, Stack, 1975 © DACS 2014

Tony Cragg, Stack, 1975 © DACS 2014

Lots of artists make sculptures out of scrap or found materials. Stack is a perfect example of this. Look at all those layers! That’s a lot of materials in a tight cube! How do you think it was made?

1. Sahara Circle, Richard Long

Richard Long, Sahara Circle, 1988 © Richard Long

Richard Long, Sahara Circle, 1988 © Richard Long

Sahara Circle was made by Richard Long during a very long walk in Algeria. Richard Long makes his art in the landscape using natural materials likes rocks and twigs. He often places his materials in circles or in straight lines. Next time you are on a walk, maybe you could make a sculpture with the materials you find?

Is your favourite in my Top 5? Let me know what your favourite sculpture is in the comments below!

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NEW! Tate Family Experience this summer!

Posted 31 July 2014 by Kat

We are very excited to launch our new audio guide especially for kids and families visiting Tate Modern! You’ll be put right in the middle of the action as you explore the gallery through three adventures that will get you thinking about art in lots of different ways!

Our new Family Experience guide c Tate

Our new Family Experience guide c. Tate

In ‘My Teacher is an Alien’, brother and sister Bob and Barbara have to finish a school project with a difference – you could say it’s out of this world…

My Teacher is an Alien c. Tate

My Teacher is an Alien c. Tate

…In Writer’s Block, best-selling author Sonia Scrape, has a different problem – she’s run out of ideas for her scary books; you’re her only hope!

Scream Scream Scream c. Tate

Writers Block: Scream Scream Scream c. Tate

But for your first adventure, you will be joining the Memory Retrieval Team! A code RED emergency, your mission, if you choose to accept it – is to enter the Artist’s Brain…

Mission Enter the Artist's Brain c. Tate

Mission: Enter the Artist’s Brain c. Tate

Working together with your family, you’ll be playing games, sharing ideas, and creating stories, and of course, looking at some amazing art! To find out how to hire a guide check out our website.

This experience has been designed for families with kids aged 7 – 11, but younger or older kids may enjoy it too!

Remember, art can be whatever you want it to be, not just what the gallery tells you it is! So get creative and find some pieces in the Tate that inspire you this summer!

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