The boys were off school yesterday on Columbus Day – or “Let’s Swap Land For Smallpox Day” as my 8 year old calls it – so we were able to explore another artist in our History of Art project. Our previous lesson was on Magritte and we stuck with the surrealist movement because Salvador Dali was up next.
When visiting Glasgow, one of our favourite places to go and spend time was the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. One of the most famous paintings in its collection is Dali’s sublime ‘Christ of Saint John of the Cross‘ and, as such, the boys were very familiar with that painting. As part of our studies, however, we looked at several of Dali’s more typically surrealist works with particular focus on ‘The Elephants’ and ‘The Persistence of Memory’. The boys were all aware of the “melting watches” mainly from the iconic imagery being referenced and parodied elsewhere. While we chatted about what Dali was perhaps communicating about the meaning of time and memory, the boys were more fascinated by his playing around with solid forms becoming liquid and less substantial. That then became the inspiration for the creative element of the lesson. We got out our small collection of polymer clay and the boys created “melted” sculptures.
My 10 year old sculpted a flattened sheep. It looked like Shaun the Sheep after meeting a steam roller. I think it is delightful.
My 8 year old appropriately went a bit random and surreal and made a melted pirate character.
My 6 year old got carried away with playing with a new medium and rather forgot about the Dali part. He used some glow in the dark clay to make a sausage dog, a fish and a funny little blobby figure. He did a great job.
My 12 year old, continuing with his Minecraft theme, made a melted Creeper.
I decided to take my inspiration from another Dali painting we had looked at, his ‘Ship with Butterfly Sails’. I used the idea as the basis of a collage in my art journal. It has not photographed well but the boat shape and some of the butterflies as well as the spatter are gold.