Performance

Strike a pose

Create a living, moving sculpture with your body and various random objects!

The idea

Kids with curly bendy sculptures

© Tate

Be inspired by the work of two sculptors, Alexander Calder and William Tucker, to create your very own living moving sculpture.

Alexander Calder changed the way people saw sculpture by making sculptures that moved. He also used materials which were not traditionally used in sculpture. William Tucker questioned traditional approaches to sculpture by experimenting with abstract forms and construction.

Alexander Calder, ‘Untitled’ 1937
Alexander Calder
Untitled 1937
Tate
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017
William Tucker, ‘Beulah i’ 1971
William Tucker
Beulah i 1971
Tate
© William Tucker

What you need

  • A garden hose or similar bendy piping.
  • Long woolly scarves.
  • Rope.
  • Brightly coloured cut-out cardboard shapes.
  • Anything else you think you might like to use.

Step 1

Alexander Calder, ‘Untitled’ 1937
Alexander Calder
Untitled 1937
Tate
© ARS, NY and DACS, London 2017
William Tucker, ‘Beulah i’ 1971
William Tucker
Beulah i 1971
Tate
© William Tucker

Look carefully at Standing Mobile 1937 by Alexander Calder and Beulah i 1971 by William Tucker.

Notice how one has a mix of straight frames and shapes and the other is a curving, twisting structure.

Imagine if they came to life! Can you picture them moving, bending and twisting in all directions?

Step 2

Kids striking poses

© Tate

Begin your creative work by moving your own body in straight fixed patterns then soft, wiggly ones.

Top tip: When you are moving into sculpted shapes you could try the Standing Mobile game.

  • One person is the traffic light.
  • When they call green, everyone moves around the room like the sculpture. Try swooping, whirling and rocking.
  • When amber is called you must balance on three points, trying not to fall over. When red is called you must stay perfectly still.

Step 3

Kids posing with cutout shapes

© Tate

Now add your 'props' and use them as you move.

Try balancing the different cut-out shapes on different parts of your body or glide them through space. Wiggle and wriggle with the curling bendy props to make curving lines through space as you move.

Step 4

Kids working with bendy sculptures

© Tate

Work with your friends or family to create a bigger movement sequence like a 'spaghetti dance' where you can bend low and swoop high with your bendy props.

Step 5

'Share' your sculptures with each other by taking turns to be the sculpture and the 'audience'.

Talk about how the sculptures make you feel, both when you are a sculpture and when you look at one.

Tell each other what you like about the sculptures.

Top tip:

Use some of the shapes you have cut out and make them into mobiles to hang off furniture in your house or trees in the garden!

More to explore