Thursday, 16 July 2015

context & scale with... Lego

Good News - Lytham Library is starting a Lego Club!
More Good News - Art Circle was the first to use some of the Lego to explore context & scale.  
What a clattery, chattery morning was had...

The context of an artwork and especially an intervention can emphasise and in some cases be integral to the pieces meaning.  We looked at David Mach's Train and work by Lego artist Nathan Sawaya.  

David Mach: Train 185,000 local Accrington Nori bricks , 60 x 6m, A66, Darlington
Mach's Train celebrates Darlington's heritage and the record breaking, steam locomotive, the Mallard. The Stockton-Darlington Railway, 1825 was Britain's first permanent steam locomotive railway.  Mallard, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, broke the world's steam train, speed record travelling at 126 mph in 1938.  mallard-powered-her-way-to-speed-record

A 5 metre maquette or smaller version of the piece was constructed before work began on the finished piece.  185,000 bricks were used to build train and her billowing smoke:  architects, engineers, bricklayers, quantity surveyors and mortar experts made up the team of 34 who took 21 weeks to build it.  All overseen by the artist.  The finished piece also includes 20 special areas to encourage bats to nest there.

Mach's train is all about context and scale whereas Sawaya is more about the use of an easily recognised material.  The use of Lego seemingly makes it more accessible to recreate or to "have a go".  Sawaya's work also speaks for itself.   

Nathan Sawaya:  Apple 
Nathan Sawaya:  Scream 
These were our starting points.  The task was to play with the Lego; build, make or assemble a piece and consider potential contexts or locations and scale. 

Sam:  signal system on a railway line & dynamic scuplture to walk under and around

Mabs:  a gateway approx 28ft high

Mabs:  in homage to cinemas with kiosks that seemed to fade away in the 70's

Jane:  clockwise from top - improved Hadrian's Wall, untitled,
a dog "that just came in" and a directional sign 

Jane:  mint & liquorice battleship

Jonti:  gateway

Jonti:  towering public artwork for the city
where they can be viewed from above too

Ann:  a garden for Chelsea Flower Show 
Viewers would stand on the path outside the structure

Brenda:  an experimental balloon

Brenda:  a garage

Eil:  disowned - not everyone likes Lego...
but its black shininess reminded me of  Richard Wilson's "Sump Oil 20:50"

Brenda:  Shard

An interesting morning...
We found that;
  • Lego is made in more colours now including pink, lilac and orange
  • despite its new colours it still has an industrial feel and curves don't come easily however more curvy pieces are included
  • it's a good way to explore maquettes and create narratives
  • it still hurts when you kneel on it 
Well done everyone - a fun packed morning again with lots of ideas and conversation!

Finally:  If you have any Lego you would like to go to a good home Lytham Library would like to adopt it.  Please call in or contact the library 01253 736745

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