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NEW GAME! ARE YOU AN ART DETECTIVE?

Posted 10 June 2010 by Hannah

It’s been a busy week here at TK HQ. Not only have we brought you a NEW artwork to write stories about in Tate Tales, we’ve also cooked up a proper mystery for you on our Games page.

Have you got what it takes to be an Art Detective? Check it out!

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HENRY MOORE: WAX CRAYONS AND WATERCOLOURS

Posted 26 March 2010 by Hannah

Henry Moore is very famous for his sculptures, but regular readers will know that he also made sketches in the London Underground during World War II, when the tube stations were used as bomb shelters.

But how did he achieve the spooky effect of the figures rising out of the darkness?

With wax crayons from Woolworth’s and watercolour paint!

Moore says:

“I hit upon this technique by accident, sometime before the war when doing a drawing to amuse a young niece of mine.  I used some of the cheap wax crayons (which she had bought from Woolworth’s) in combination with a wash of water-colour, and found, of course, that the water-colour did not ‘take’ on the wax, but only on the background.

I found also that if you use a light-coloured or even white wax crayon, then a dark depth of background can easily be produced by painting with dark water-colour over the whole sheet of paper. ”

Letter to E.D. Averill, 11 December 1964

Woman Seated in the Underground, 1941Can you see where Moore has used light-coloured crayon and dark watercolours to create the ghostly figure of Woman Seated in the Underground (1941)? The ink flows over the wax and soaks into the paper around it, leaving the light colours behind.

Why not try it yourself?

© The Henry Moore Foundation. This image must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.

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WHO IS . . . HENRY MOORE?

Posted 16 March 2010 by Hannah

To celebrate the new Henry Moore retrospective at Tate Britain, here are five fascinating facts about the artist and his work:

Henry Spencer Moore was born in Castleford, Yorkshire, England in 1898. He was a teacher and served in the army before going to Leeds School of Art to learn to become a sculptor.

He is famous for sculpting people with hollow spaces in their bodies and for using flowing, abstract shapes:

Composition, 1932

Most of his sculptures are female figures, some are families and some just faces:

Reclining Figure, 1951

Maquette for Family Group, 1944

Mask, 1928

He liked to take inspiration from nature and spent a lot of time sketching each sculpture before he made it.

During World War II, he was commissioned by the War Artists Advisory Committee to make drawings of London’s civilians using Underground stations as bomb shelters:

Woman Seated in the Underground, 1941

He died in 1986 and was buried only a few hundred yards from his home at St Thomas’s Church in Perry Green.

The Henry Moore exhibit is open until 8 August 2010. Have you already been to see it? Why not leave us a comment to tell us what you think!

p.s. A Retrospective is a particular kind of exhibition. It means to take a look back at an artist’s whole career. Moore’s career spanned over fifty years – that’s a lot of sculptures!

© The Henry Moore Foundation. These images must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.

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