Activity: Create new forms that include shadows
Materials: Black paper, flashlight, scissors, tape
Vocabulary: artist, curve, sculpture, shadow, shape
Tell your child that a shadow is a dark image that is made when an object blocks light. When you stand in the sun, you can see your own shadow. The shape of your shadow will change depending on the position of the sun.
This artist uses shadow as part of his sculpture. The black curved metal is one piece that connects to the shadow it creates below. Looking at these two parts together can make a whole new shape.
What shape do you see when you look at the sculpture?
What new shape do you see when you look at the sculpture and its shadow together?
Why did the artist choose this color and shape for the sculpture?
Did the artist choose a good name for his sculpture? Why or why not?
Note that while all sculptures cast shadows, it is unusual for an artist to use a shadow as part of his art. You may point out to the child that a sundial also uses a shadow but for the purpose of telling time.
Cut a long strip of black paper and find a place on the floor where you could project a shadow. Fold the ends and tape them to the floor at a distance shorter than the length of the paper. Dim the lights and encourage the child to make different curves in the paper while you shine a flashlight on it at various angles.
Artist - someone who makes things, such as paintings and sculptures
Curve - a smooth, round shape
Sculpture - a work of art that has height, width, and depth
Shadow - a darkened shape that is behind something blocking the light
Shape - an outline of a body, like a circle or square
Magdalena Abakanowicz, Figure on a Trunk, 2000
David Hare, The Swan’s Dream of Leda, 1962
Tony Smith, Amaryllis, 1965