Last weekend, we took the kids to see a sculptures exhibition on the beach. I love art and I want to expose my kids to any form of art, so I thought a day at the beach, walking barefoot and seeing an exhibition, would be well worth the one-hour trip. I also hoped it would be a great day after a very hectic week. In fact, it had been a very hectic month. I think I had lost track of time – everything had been great and exciting, so I do not even know when the pressure had started.
Many people tell me kids do not really understand (and therefore like) exhibitions, but I remember my kids in Paris, enjoying every art piece in what others thought was a boring gallery at very young ages.
A few years ago, Eden and Tsoof also enjoyed a pottery class, where they fashioned cups and dolls out of mushy clay, baked it and decorated it. They even got to spend a day with a professional sculptor and learned how to carve limestone.
I am a big believer in informal education and I think kids get excited by new things if we get excited about them and then they learn a great deal from them. I have found this to be true with traveling, with food, with music and certainly with visual art.
So away we went to see the sculptures.
It was a beautiful sunny day and we walked along the beach, examining every sculpture. It was just beautiful and calm. We did not fully understand the meaning of all the sculptures – I guess some were just made to be beautiful, some just copied nature in some way, but some of the sculptures conveyed amazingly powerful messages. The conversations we had with the kids about our interpretations of the sculptures were great.
Many of the sculptures had social messages (at least this is what we heard from the silent sculptures) and talking about the message just made the whole experience wonderful.
There was a giant band-aid on the ground, which we thought symbolized that our planet is wounded or perhaps that our current environmental measures are only like a band-aid (see above).
A pelican (nature?) was fighting a little boy (the new generation of humans?) over a fish (natural resources and food?).
Our heritage, our values and our traditions lay broken and turned upside down (see the brown column). It was also symbolic that the head of the human figure was chopped off (no leadership?) and so were the arms (no power?).
As we were leaving, my 8-year-old daughter Noff said she would love to sculpt too.
“I will get you a limestone to carve,” I said to her.
“Ooh, ooh, I want one too”, said Tsoof, my 14-year-old son, “It’s awesome!”
“Can I do it now?” Noff asked.
“Not really. We need to find a landscaping supplies store for the special stone that’s easy to carve”, I said to her.
Unfortunately, we had missed a workshop for making colorful flowers out of plastic bottles (they were magnificent, laid out over the side of a hill), so Noff dragged us to the water’s edge and made a penguin out of sand and water. She sat there for over half an hour, focused intensely on her work. Can see it is smiling?
This morning, she asked again if I have bought her the limestone already…
It was certainly worth the trip.