On Saturday 24 March, the Institute of Imagination are collaborating with Tate Britain for the biggest ever digital family day to be held in the Tate galleries. Imagine what digital interventions you could create inspired by the iconic artworks and architecture of the Tate Britain? Over the next week, we’re sharing articles from some of the artists that will be taking part in the festival and first up is Deborah Rodrigues (aka Tartaruga Feliz), who will be taking inspiration from the works of Antony Gormley and the Model Room.
The city as a body
My name is Deborah Rodrigues (aka Tartaruga Feliz). I work with art and technology. With my project, Glück Workshops, and through my explorations in these fields, I present ideas for activities with children, inviting them to participate in this discovery process with me. I work with children in very different parts of the planet, passing on my values and exploring the intersections of learning, interaction and play as a path to strengthening creativity.
‘The city as a body’ is my idea for the Imagine If Festival. Inspired by the Model Room, children will be invited to play with Antony Gormley’s concepts.
Making is a form of physical thinking
I believe that when kids are encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art, they develop a sense of innovation, sensitivity and creativity that will be important in their adult lives. Creating is also a question of understanding others, working and exchanging with them: expressing themselves through making art makes children open their minds and open up to the others.
“Body as a place / Replacing anatomy with architecture” as Gormley described his work, is the starting point of the workshop. Kids will be inspired by the ‘Model Room’, and then will enter a space where the workshop will take place. The activity will bring together cube-shaped cardboard boxes and technology: DC Motors, LEDs, fans and batteries.
Open-ended exploratory playground in which space and object become interchangeable
The workshop is open ended. Children will be given freedom to choose how they’ll use the technology provided to make their place exist in the city of people.
After a couple of buildings start to populate our workshop space, a little exhibition will be organised with the artworks. We will then use an iPad and an app called Tagtool to create live animations that will be project mapped on the city. At the end we’ll have this incredible city full of small cardboard people, that can remind us of ‘Field’, Gormley’s 1989 – 2003 project, where the art “looks back at you”.
Make this, create that
Giving space and freedom to create and play is a very important event in a child’s life. It puts children in contact with their creativity, which is the basis for any activity within human life, as Sir Ken Robinson so beautifully points:
Creativity is an essential set of skills and capabilities. It is the capability to have and develop new ideas that are original and of value and to know how that process works. This is a fundamental skill in every field of human endeavor from the arts, the sciences, technology, mathematics to business. It’s really what sets us apart from the rest of life on earth – our capacity to come up with fresh ideas and to make them come into being – to create things in the practical world as well as conceptually.
From the starting point of allowing children to be inspired by such interesting (and different) concepts such as the Model Room at Tate Britain, will allow curiosity in, which I believe is one of the most noble functions of art in our lives.