Cut and paste

Neon Drawing Disco

Make an awesome moving art installation to dance in

The plan

Detail of neon disco installation

Kids making at the Drawing Disco © Tate Liverpool

You are going to make a drawing disco!

To make your installation you will be thinking about shape, light and space. You will also think about how to make the artwork move after you have made it, as it’s meant to be a kinetic (that means moving) sculpture. Grab a few friends to make it with and then you can all rave in your brilliant neon art installation once it is finished!

The Idea

The idea is inspired by the American kinetic sculptor Liliane Lijn and her amazing spinning artworks. She calls her sculptures ‘koans’ as they are cone in shape. The Koans are designed to make the viewer feel calm. They may make you want to meditate and it’s ok to feel a little hypnotised by them!

What you need

Materials for the artwork

Material © Tate Liverpool

  • Black material
  • Pegs and string
  • Different coloured paper (black, orange and plastic sheets work really well)
  • Neon string
  • Colourful fluffy balls
  • Neon paint
  • Neon stickers
  • Ultra-violet pen
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Torches and lamps (with ultra-violet light bulbs!)

Step 1

Black fabric hanging in background and kids and adults making shapes in the foreground

© Tate Liverpool

Make your den!

Set up your black material with pegs and strings. You want to make an enclosed space which will be the backdrop for your koans. Chairs work well to hang material off or if you are doing this outside maybe tie your material to trees.

Step 2

Detail of cones in neon installation

© Tate Liverpool

Make your koans.

Grab some coloured paper. Draw, paint, cut into it and stick things on it to make it as weird and wacky as you want. Think about what it will look like in the dark under different types of lights. You could write secret messages and stories with the ultra violet pens.

What would Liliane Lijn write? Maybe some calming words or quotes about space and time?

Roll your paper into cone shapes. Make lots of koans of all different shapes and sizes. Attach neon string to your cones and hang them up in your den.

Step 3

Neon disco isntallation

Neon disco isntallation © Tate Liverpool

Turn on your ultraviolet lamps.

Find some funky songs and turn it up!

Make your kinetic sculpture move with your dance moves. Take some photographs of your art installation to document your amazing creation.

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