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Calder Christmas Competition!

Posted 2 December 2015 by Kat

Ho ho ho!

Christmas is less than a month away and Tate Kids is running a very special Christmas competition this year! Be a detective and win a mega Alexander Calder themed Christmas hamper!

This hamper includes an A5 sketchbook, colouring pencils, an acrylic paint set, a Calder Gold Fish Bowl tote bag, a Calder cushion cover, Meet the Circus book AND an Alexander Calder mug (to hold that all-important hot chocolate!)

Christmas at Tate Shop!

It’s Christmas at Tate Shop!

This competition comes to you in 2 parts.

Part 1 – Zoom!

Below is a zoomed in bit of artwork and you have to guess which painting, out of the 3 below, it comes from.

Hand drawn Christmas card by Phyllis Maureen Gotch 1882-1963

A.

Julian Trevelyan, Christmas Card 1935, © The estate of Julian Trevelyan

Julian Trevelyan, Christmas Card 1935, © The estate of Julian Trevelyan

B.

Handmade Christmas card from Kenneth Armitage to Joan Moore inscribed ‘HAPPY CHRISTMAS’ 22 December 1951. © The Kenneth Armitage Foundation

Handmade Christmas card from Kenneth Armitage to Joan Moore inscribed ‘HAPPY CHRISTMAS’ 22 December 1951. © The Kenneth Armitage Foundation

C.

Hand drawn Christmas card date not known. © The estate of Phyllis Maureen Gotch

Hand drawn Christmas card, date not known. © The estate of Phyllis Maureen Gotch

Part 2 – Multiple choice!

Which one is the correct answer?

Alexander Calder was also known as what to his friends?

A. Pandy

B. Sandy

C. Santa

To get involved leave your 2 answers in the comments below with your first name, a contact email and home address.
We won’t publish anything but your first name and answers. We will use your email address to contact you on if you win and your address to send the prizes too.

Make sure you ask permission from your adults before entering. Please enter only once. The deadline is Sunday 13 December at 9pm. All the correct answers will be put into a random draw to pick a winner! All the other Terms and Conditions are here.

Good luck!

Don’t forget, you can visit the Alexander Calder exhibition over the holidays and, as always, its free for under 12s!

Happy Holidays!

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GIRL TALK: CORNELIA PARKER

Posted 25 November 2015 by Kat
Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 1991 © Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View 1991 © Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker, the artist, talks about her work:

“This piece came out of a series of works I was doing about cartoon deaths – things like, things falling off cliffs, things being run over by a steam roller, things being blown up, shot full of bullets, like Roadrunner or Tom and Jerry.”

Lisa LeFeuvre, writer and curator, interviewing Parker on her artistic style:

“There seems to be such an importance in your work…. not just on the experience of what we see, but also in terms of the ‘how’ of it…How did this piece of work get made?”

Anna, school girl aged 11 from London, reacts to Parker’s work:

“Wow! That’s crazy! There are so many bits! Where is the light coming from? I would love to be in it!”

There is loads more stuff to read and watch about Cornelia Parker’s work, so check that out! You can even find out how the exploded shed was made!

What do you think about Cornelia Parker’s work? Let us know in the comments below.

GIRL TALK looks at female artists through artworks and quotes from themselves, their friends, other people in the art world and kids just like you!

Quotes are from the  Audio transcript  of Cornelia Parker ‘Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View’ and Talking Art: Cornelia Parker, 2008 at Tate.

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Kids review: Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

Posted 23 November 2015 by Kat

This review was written by Bella, age 11. Let’s see what she thought of the exhibition…

Alexander Calder was an amazing artist who produced pieces of art using wire and other materials. He was born on August 22nd 1898 and died on November 11th 1976. He was an amazing sculptor who made a lot of things, which you can now see in the Tate Modern, London.

It is cool because when you see his amazing work, you can make anything out of it from any angle you look at it from. So now I will share with you my experience at the gallery…

Me at the entrance to the exhibition with Alexander Calder!

Me at the entrance to the exhibition with Alexander Calder!

My heart was pounding, excitement pouring through me. Going to the Alexander Calder exhibition, of course I was feeling excited. As I walked in I wondered what delights were to treat me.

My amazing sister had got an audio guide and sometimes told me to listen.

Eve, 8, listening to the exhibition audio guide.

My sister, Eve, 8, listening to the exhibition audio guide.

First I saw Hercules and Lion

Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976), Hercules and Lion 1928, Calder Foundation, New York © 2015 Calder, Foundation, New York / DACS, London

Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976), Hercules and Lion, 1928, Calder Foundation, New York
© 2015 Calder, Foundation, New York / DACS, London

At first glance, it appeared to look like a man holding a lady. I moved, and discovered that when you moved to a different angle it looked different and so did its shadow. I found it captivating. That is why it is cool.

My anticipation mounted as I moved to the next piece, Medusa and her shadow hit my gaze, I saw her shadow and when I looked closely I saw snakes on her shadow. Amazing.

Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976), Medusa 1931, Wire 310 x 430 x 240 mm, Calder Foundation, New York © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London

Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976), Medusa 1931, Wire 310 x 430 x 240 mm, Calder Foundation, New York
© 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London

Later I saw many pieces, which looked like our solar system. Then I started to think….

Alexander Calder (1898 - 1976) , A Universe 1934  Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London

Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976) , A Universe 1934
Museum of Modern Art, New York
© 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London

Being autistic, I find things different from other people. The art that is here is mainly things stuck together, so what if I stuck a ball on a stick? Would it become famous art? Does all art even have a purpose?

The art is beautiful but mysterious, wonderful but strange. Is this good? In my books, it is cool and unique, so yes!

I have described some of the many pieces of art that the new exhibition holds, so go along and check it out for yourself!”

—-

Great reviews! Thanks so much Bella!

Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture is on now and even free for Under 12s! Let us know what you think of Calder’s artwork below!

If you are inspired by Bella’s words and would like to review upcoming Tate exhibitions and events email us on kids@tate.org.uk or get a parent to tweet at us!

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INTERVIEW: CIRCUS STARR

Posted 19 November 2015 by Kat

Have you ever been to the circus? Have you seen the beautiful acrobats, funny clowns and the awesome ringmaster?

There is an exhibition at Tate Modern now packed full of artwork by the great Alexander Calder. He made lots of wire sculptures inspired by the circus and all the performers.

Tate Kids got the chance to interview a real life aerial performer from Circus Starr! Circus Starr is a circus which provides amazing shows for thousands of disadvantaged, disabled or vulnerable children. Let’s meet Romy Bauer and see what it’s really like to work in a circus!

Romy Bauer centre stage at  Circus Starr

Romy Bauer centre stage at Circus Starr c. Circus Starr

Hi Romy! What does a normal day look like?

A normal day on Circus Starr includes getting up very early to move to the next place and a lot of teamwork. It also includes practising (training) and getting ready for shows. Then of course there is show time which is the best part of the job!

We would love to know when was your first back flip?

I was trained in contortion (that means that Romy is really flexible) from a very young age, I don’t actually do backflips as that is more gymnastics than aerial contortion. I always wanted to be flexible so I trained in contortion when I was younger, it was a good base skill for my future.

Romy Bauer – the aerial performer at Circus Starr

Romy Bauer – the aerial performer at Circus Starr. c. Circus Starr

How did you end up working at Circus Starr?

I was born into the circus and as soon as I could perform, I did. I made my Big Top debut aged 3. I was part of my mother and fathers act, which also included my grandmother, cousin, aunt and uncle. My parents used to be managers and artists in Circus Starr in the 90’s so I was actually brought up here! It’s a company that is close to my heart and I’m very happy to be back here.

Do you see yourself as an artist?

Yes, as circus is performance art. I perform contortion inside a giant perspex ball suspended from the roof of the big top. It is such a wonderful feeling to perform for our audiences… I can’t describe it!

If you weren’t an acrobat, what would you be doing?

I’ve always loved make-up and fashion, so maybe something in that department!

Are there any other artists or dancers that inspire you?

Whenever I go to see another circus the other artists always inspire me!

What’s the best thing about your job?

I have always loved aerial; I love the beauty and danger of it! Seeing the children’s faces and excitement at show time makes all the hard work worth it.

Alexander Calder, Acrobats, c. 1927, Calder Foundation, New Yourk, Gift of Katherine Merle-Smith Thomas in memory of Van Santvoord Merle-Smith, Jr, 2010.

Alexander Calder, Acrobats, c. 1927, Calder Foundation, New York, Gift of Katherine Merle-Smith Thomas in memory of Van Santvoord Merle-Smith, Jr, 2010.

Have you ever seen Alexander Calder’s work (above is an example of his artwork called ‘Acrobats‘)?

This is the first time I have heard of Alexander Calder. I love the movement and playfulness in his work.

As a real-life acrobat, what do you think about it?

It’s very interesting to see circus from a different perspective. It has a very old-fashioned circus feel to it. It’s beautiful!

Massive thanks to Romy and Circus Starr for the interview! Be sure to check out Circus Starr and the Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture exhibition at Tate Modern soon. 😉

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WHO IS….ALEXANDER CALDER?

Posted 11 November 2015 by Kat

Meet Alexander Calder. The man that made modern art move! Here he is in his studio, surrounded by his artwork.

Alexander Calder in his Roxbury studio, 1941 Photo credit: Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, NY © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London

Alexander Calder in his Roxbury studio, 1941
Photo credit: Calder Foundation, New York / Art Resource, NY
© 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / DACS, London

Calder, known to his friends as ‘Sandy’, invented the mobile in 1931 when he decided to create a drawing in the air!

The artist Marcel Duchamp called Calder’s sculptures’ ‘mobiles’ because they moved when the wind blew. Here is one of his mobiles made in 1953. How do you think it moves?

Alexander Calder, Antennae with Red and Blue Dots, c1953 Aluminium and steel wire © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2002

Alexander Calder,
Antennae with Red and Blue Dots, c1953
Aluminium and steel wire © ARS, NY and DACS, London 2002

Calder’s mobiles were also inspired by nature, such as Snow Flurry I. Do you feel caught in a blustery snowstorm?

Alexander Calder, Snow Flurry, I 1948, © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Alexander Calder, Snow Flurry, I 1948, © 2015 Calder Foundation, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Calder was born in Pennsylvania, USA in 1898 into an artistic family, his grandfather, his father and his mother were all artists. However, as a kid he was great at Maths, so he decided to study engineering at university. This turned out to be very useful later on when he was inventing his kinetic sculptures. Kinetic is used to describe a type of art that moves, either by air or the use of a motor.

In 1926 Calder made a miniature circus out of wire and bits of cork and fabric. He called it the Cirque Calder, and artists like Pablo Picasso were invited to come and watch performances. As a kid, Calder loved the circus, especially the acrobats. He was impressed by their ability to balance on thin wires high up in the air. Have you been to the circus? Do you think Calder captures the magic of a circus performance?

Alexander Calder, Circus Scene, 1929 © Calder Foundation, New York

Alexander Calder, Circus Scene, 1929 © Calder Foundation, New York

In 1930 Calder visited the artist Piet Mondrian in his studio in Paris where he saw his simple paintings of rectangles and stripes in red, yellow and black.

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red, 1937–42, c. Tate

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red, 1937–42, c. Tate

He thought it would be good if the shapes in Mondrian’s paintings moved, so he went back to his studio and began to work on a series of sculptures that would do this.

Calder also loved involving sound in his artwork. In Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere two balls hit bottles, a box, a can & gong. How do you think it sounds?

Alexander Calder, Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, 1932-1933, Fer, bois, cordes, tiges et objets divers, H. 317,5 cm (dimensions variables) New York, Calder Foundation.

Alexander Calder, Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, 1932-1933, Fer, bois, cordes, tiges et objets divers, H. 317,5 cm (dimensions variables) New York, Calder Foundation.

Calder made new ways of looking at and creating art. What do you think about his work? Does it remind you of anything you have seen before? Have you ever tried to make a mobile?

You can have a go at make your own Calder circus in this Tate Create. You can also write stories about his acrobats and even see the work for yourself at Tate Modern soon!

Pssss kids even go free! How great this that?! See you there! 😉

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