A Monumental Mess at Artsparks 13th July 2018/ Catherine O' Brien The first Artsparks of our tenth birthday season was kicked off by creating a monumental mess; all inspired by Jupiter’s latest permanent commission by artist Phyllida Barlow- quarry. On day one, we looked at a slideshow of Barlow’s previous artworks;  as a group and in our individual workbooks,  we then discussed questions such as- where do artist get their ideas from, what makes a ‘good artwork’, what do artist use to make their sculptures and does art have to be pretty/make you feel happy? With these burning questions in mind we began to play with a variety of materials including balloons, paper, sticks, mod rock and; with the help and instruction from a wonderful plaster demo given by our exhibition assistant and artist Alison; we mixed up our plaster of paris.

After the break, we went for a quick jaunt to visit quarry in situ. Here, after much discussion on what inspire means, some of our young artists decided to draw specific details of the sculpture, others did rubbings of the all the different textures  they could find, while one artist, in particular, went around listening to all the sculptures- checking attentively, to see if they all sounded the same. We finished the day with a bang, well maybe more of a splatter! Rather than painting our sculptures with normal brushes- we decided to throw paint on the sculptures! Using paint that we made and mixed with ourselves we covered our sculptures, and classroom garden floor, in a rainbow of splashy colours!
On day two we continued to play with unusual materials, using expanding foam to create even more artworks and sticks and leaves to create giant brushes. Hearing about all the fun and learning we having outside surrounded by nature and art, the Minister for Rural Affairs and Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, came to award Jupiter Artland as one of 16 projects which will benefit from the new Outdoor Learning in Nature Fund that is administered by Scottish Natural Heritage, and will run for two years. She may have come on business but definitely left feeling inspired and playful as all of our artists showed her how they had been making their nature brushes, paintings and towers sculptures.

At Jupiter Artland, we recognise the power and potential of learning through play and that having no strict outcomes can really allow for creative and genuine ownership of ideas. We believe it is important for the children to value all the work they do – failed plaster lumps or not- so much can be learned from it. On the final day, from all the work produced over a two-day course, the Foam Bomb Exhibition of Colour was created- including guided tours of the exhibition, viewing peep-hole stations and the Code Red performance of hiding from the parents. Thank you all for making it such a great way to start our summer season of mess, making and fun!

For more information about our upcoming events for children and families, visit our What's On page HERE.