British astronaut Tim Peake has us all staring up into the night sky just a bit more often at the moment and he’s sending back fantastic pictures of our planet. At the V&A, we have been doing our own sky-gazing for our latest project with the Virtual Schools; last year, we ‘Designed the World’, and this year we are ‘Drawing down the Moon’.
Over three Sundays in November, January and March, the group are discovering how the moon has inspired art and design all over the world – from Buddhist sculpture to kimono, jewellery and ceramics. The moon and its pock-marked beauty have fascinated people for millennia and whether you see a man or a rabbit or a hunter, its waxing and waning have sparked wonderful stories and imagery.
Artist Karly Allen is running the workshops and has devised three really exciting sessions. In November we went to the South East Asia Gallery to collect ideas and drawings, then returned to the studio to make magical moon lanterns (the tealights are battery-powered if you were wondering).
Last month, we visited the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries to see beautiful 15th century circular ceiling tiles, depicting the duration of the day/night across the twelve seasons. We then went to the newly re-opened Japan Gallery to create delicate drawings in silver. Our finished work was framed in circular petri dishes.
Next month is our final session and we’ll be taking a magical journey across the Museum – we will create long scrolls that tell the story of a fantastical visit, combining beautiful objects with all the logic of a dream.
We have timed our project so that between each session the group can come back and enjoy our Family Art Fun holiday programme – including our Christmas Nutcracker, February half-term Europe Gallery celebration, and Easter spring spectacular. For more information on all of our holiday activities, please go to www.vam.ac.uk/families