Remember the arcade video game Space Invaders? It was released in the late 70’s, and become incredibly popular in the 80’s. The purpose of the game is to defeat attacking aliens with a canon, and it’s these aliens that inspired French street artist, Invader, to make mosaics of the characters and place them in urban settings around the world. These little aliens are very simple to reproduce, and perfect for children to try their hand at working with mosaics tiles.
Tag Archives: recycled materials
Fibre art can take on many forms like weaving, quilting, collage and sculpture, and is best defined as “any artistic presentation with fibre as the main medium.” That leaves things pretty open, so I decided to make these collages monochromatic so kids could work on their colours. I also included bubble wrap, the first thing I found lying in my recycling junk box. It turns out to be really easy to sew, adds great texture, and works nicely with any colour grouping. And if the urge to pop becomes overwhelming, virtual bubble wrap is the place for you.
It’s officially summer today, and whether you’re staying local or traveling abroad, it’s a great time to explore the arts and get inspired by what others have created. While this typically involves visits to museums and various festivals, there are also some highly unusual places to explore which are off the beaten path, with fascinating stories of dreams and perseverance. They all have kid appeal and are definitely worth putting on your travel wish list, or at the very least, your virtual trip list:
Italy: The Tarot Garden
The Tarot Garden is located in the southern region of Tuscany, and is filled with sculptures of Tarot cards interpreted by the artist Niki de Saint Phalle and her collaborators. This magical looking sculpture park took almost 20 years to complete, and was a place the artist hoped would bring joy to children and adults alike. For more information visit: http://www.nikidesaintphalle.com
Poland: Wieliczka Salt Mines
The Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland produced table salt from the 13th century until 2007. Today, a visit to the mine takes you on an historical journey through the various mining techniques and tools used from the Middle Ages to modern times. But what really sounds amazing are the galleries and corridors filled with works of art sculpted in salt like in the photo above. For more information visit: www.kolpalnia.pl
France: Le Palais Idéal
This is an amazing story about Ferdinand Cheval, a postman living in Hauterives, who one day tripped over a stone and was inspired to build the palace of his dreams out of this material. He continued to collect stones while on his mail route, and worked on the building whenever he could. It took him 33 years to complete this incredible space, filled with inspirations from different civilizations, religions, and philosophies. It received recognition and admiration from the likes of Ernst and Picasso, and has been declared a cultural landmark by the French Minister of Culture. For more information visit: www.facteurcheval.com
India: The Rock Garden of Chandigarh
Here’s a similar story about a man with a dream. Nek Chand was a roads inspector, working for the Department of Public Works in Chandigarh. He had a dream of creating a magical place and when he had time, began building a rock garden filled with sculptures of animals, musicians, and dancing women, all made of recycled materials and stones. This secret place began in the middle of the jungle, and for 18 years remained undiscovered. Eventually, with the government’s full support, Chand’s garden was completed and is one of the most visited folk art sites in the world. For more information visit: www.nekchand.com and www.nekchand.org
Japan: The Hakone Open-Air Museum
This impressive looking museum is home to over 100 sculptures by modern and contemporary artists like Rodin and Moore, scattered throughout the exquisite grounds that only the Japanese could create. It also has 5 exhibition halls including a Picasso Pavilion, restaurants and shops and, get this, a foot bath spa nestled in the beautiful gardens. Who wouldn’t dream of that after a day of sightseeing. As their website says, it allows you to enjoy “the splendor of art in nature”. And for children, enjoying art while being able to run around freely in the gardens makes it more pleasant for all concerned. For more information visit: http://www.hakone-oam.or.jp/english