Colour Compositions: Easter Matisse at Tate Liverpool

I've had the most colourful time at Tate Liverpool over the past few weeks as we turned the Clore Studio into an immersive world of colourful compostions, where art and activity began to creep and grow across the blank walls, floors and columns of the studio space.

Our starting point was The Snail by Henri Matisse (1953), Tate Liverpool's current work 'to know by heart'. On loan from the Centre Pompidou, The Snail is on display until May 2nd and is a key example of Matisse's cut-outs. It's worth going to see just to enjoy the scale and colour of the work and it is a significant piece to see up close as it's unlikely it will tour to another venue in our lifetime, due to its fragile nature.

Made at a time when Matisse was too ill to paint, the cut-outs were a new and exciting development as he used his scissors to cut out shapes directly from coloured sheets painted by his assistants. Some works were more abstract than others and The Snail at first looks that way but then it becomes clear that Matisse has composed his 'dancing' coloured shapes to form a distilled impression of the spiral shell. I asked many young visitors to look for the snail shape and there was much discussion about which way the shell turned and where the head could be found.

Participants then chose their own paper colour palettes and were challenged to cut shapes straight out of the paper to make their own colour cut compositions. These began to grow along the studio walls as we created a collective colour display and also a floor-based composition piece. There was also the chance to create transient colour projections and weave a colourful trail of coloured lines across the space through yarn bombing - which went down well with lots of children! The music, lights, shadows and colour also had a positive impact on participants who talked about how 'relaxing' and 'immersive' the space was.

There were so many avenues for development - we could have worked on it for another couple of weeks at least. If anything it was a great way of creating interweaving snail trails from a great piece of art.

 

 

Colour Pop!

Here are some lovely pictures from half-term family workshops at Manchester Art Gallery this week and last!

The workshops introduced the concept of complementary or 'best friend' colours in paintings in the Modern & Contemporary Gallery, taking inspiration from John Hoyland's '14.6.64' (1964). Families looked for sets of best friend colours in paintings and were asked to think about how the colours made them feel. Later, downstairs in the studios, families could print using interesting objects and /or make abstract screen prints choosing combinations of complementary colours. Two studio activities were available for families with children aged 0-5 years and 6+ years.

As the two weeks progressed the studio walls became filled with a collection of pop colours!

Colour Pop at the Royal Children's Hospital Manchester - Culture Shots week

I've had a great day playing with colour in the atrium of the Children's Hospital Manchester, as part of the +Culture Shots week!

Working with artist and Culture Shots volunteer Louisa Hammond, on behalf of Manchester Art Gallery, we invited people to have a go at playing with coloured acetate on the windows in the main entrance of the hospital. The idea behind Colour Pop comes from previous workshops, playing with acetate on windows as part of the 'Interactive Laboratory' and 'Imagine' - Anish Kapoor weekend sessions at the gallery (to see examples, click here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michikofujii/5525858773/in/photostream ).

The idea behind Colour Pop was simply to use the amazingly tall hospital windows, as a natural light box, upon which to place the acetate colours. As the sun began to move around the building in the afternoon, the most amazing colourful glow began to stream through into the waiting area, bathing visitors and patients in colourful light and projections. The acetate could be cut up and used as a way of creating colourful lines, images or abstract compositions. All ages took part, including a group of 30 children and their carers from the hospital nursery. We had quite a few compliments from staff, visitors and parents who enjoyed looking at and through the colourful windows... we also had a request to leave it up for the whole week!

Click here to listen to the Colour Pop audioboo: http://audioboo.fm/boos/658728-colour-pop

 

+Culture Shots is an innovative initiative of creative activities run by different cultural institutions across Manchester, taking place in all of the 5 Manchester Hospitals this week. Click here for more info:

http://www.healthandculture.org.uk/about/

Culture Shot blog: http://www.healthandculture.org.uk

Twitter (for audio boos): http://twitter.com/health_culture

'The Guardian':  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/feb/08/art-hospital-trust-culture-wellbeing

Manchester Art Gallery: http://www.manchestergalleries.org/whats-on/culture-shots/

Manchester Art Gallery Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150831844424128.511346.68496394127&type=1

Louisa Hammond: http://louisahammond.tumblr.com/

Lime Art: http://www.limeart.org/