August 23: Inspired by the museum
August 24, 2012 § 1 Comment
Today we went to the Seattle Art Museum. While I maintain that my older child is difficult at times, he is also a great art lover. He’s been asking for weeks to go to the museum (about an hour’s drive away), and so today we finally did. We spent four hours there! With two kids! How cool is that? Instead of the usual route from the living room to bedroom to change O’s diaper, I got to walk from a fabulous kids area, through awesome galleries, by the installation of Jenny Holzer’s Inflammatory Essays, for that diaper change. Twice. I love Jenny Holzer. O. blissfully slept through the whole outing, and J. was perfectly happy to follow us through the galleries and ask questions about the art. The Universe provides.
In addition, it’s always neat when you can make art with your kids based on something that you saw at a museum. Today we saw a spectacular Australian Aboriginal art exhibit (website here). Many of the paintings were complex maps, where certain shapes and symbols always represented the same things: U shapes represented people, lines represented people’s tracks, arrows represented emus’ tracks, concentric circles represented campsites, etc. Especially impressive, to me, were the paintings of women’s ceremonies.
In any case, tonight D, J, and I attempted to create something similar. Or rather, to create something inspired by the exhibit. In our effort, storytelling was at least as important as the visual results. Guess whose attempt was the most successful? J’s of course.
D’s is bottom left. I think he just had fun creating colorful shapes. Mine is bottom right, inspired probably as much by graph theory as by the art. The dots were supposed to be women, and the lines represented the complex bonds existing among them. With two hearts in the middle. I was feeling good about the world for a change. The other two are J’s. The top one, he said, was a ceremony with painted statues to present to the gods. The bottom one was a map: the bottom left yellow dots are Hawaii and Easter Islands. The top yellow/blue squares are Tacoma, the green squares above Tacoma are the Cascades, and there is a pond to the right. Under the pond is China, to the right of China (the heart) is Egypt, and on the bottom, from left to right, Japan, Greece, and Belgrade. Fascinating. I think this is all the geography he knows, and I love how it’s all there in one magical, impossible landscape. A lot like the art we saw today.