Friday, 16 August 2019

The inspirational Dorothea Tanning

Way back in March I attended a six-session evening workshop at the Tate Modern to coincide with the surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning's solo exhibition. I only had limited knowledge of her work before visiting the exhibition and I was really impressed by the sheer volume and such a wide variety of media she explored during her career. The focus of the workshop was soft-sculpture inspired by the many 3D sculptural pieces Tanning had created and experimented with.

As part of the cost of the Tate workshop, you gained free, unlimited entry to the exhibition which was a real joy to be able to experience the gallery after-hours when it was quiet and empty.
The tutor who ran the workshop gave us templates to use to create body parts. I selected to hand-sew legs and the lower torso. Once they had been carefully hand-stitched together they were filled with rice or couscous to give them some weight.

Here are some photographs of Dorothea Tanning's interesting soft sculpture work below.

The following photos are my small soft sculptures inspired by Tanning's amazing large scale 3D pieces.

The scale of my sculptural pieces is about the size of your hand, so quite delicate in contrast with Tanning's work. Whilst attending the Tate workshop I met a wonderful artist called Alannah Currie, also known as Miss Pokeno. She had organised an amazing week-long collective exhibition in response to Tanning's work. It was at her Doyce Street Studios and showcased the work of feminist artists in the form of paintings, sculpture, furniture, photography and dance.

I attended the Friday evening event with some friends and were treated to Hibiscus cocktails and a live dance performance which was very 'London'. It was a truly memorable evening which has still left me thinking about the work of Dorothea Tanning and the new artists she has inspired!

Have you visited anywhere or read a book recently that has made you think and reflect?

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