March 16, 2015

Circle of Animals

On a recent trip to the desert, I caught Ai WeiWei's "Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads"
at the Palm Springs Art Museum. 


This collection of each animal of the Chinese zodiac has traveled the world in a number of different incarnations, but I was happy to catch these stunning sculptures in gold.


Back in the studio, we looked at and discussed several of WeiWei's stylized animals,
noting ways they were similar and different from their counterparts.


As we entered the Year of the Goat in February, students created their own real and imagined zodiac animals in clay, which were later painted gold (by me. Because: fumes).



There's something unique and precious about making things with clay, 
and the students had a ball creating these little 3-d sculptures. 
We used Crayola Air-Dry clay (and plastic pegs left over from some long forgotten project).

(As usual) some of the student's sculptures were super representational, and others were way abstract!



*The background of Ai WeiWei's collection involves loads of interesting history and controversy, and would be a great discussion with older students.