Tate Kids



Strike A Pose

Tate Britain

The Idea

Alexander Calder made an impact on the art of sculpture by using movement as one of the main components of his work. He also used materials which were not traditionally used in sculpture. William Tucker also made important changes within the concept of traditional sculpture by experimenting with abstract form and construction.

William Tucker, Beulah, © William Tucker


The Plan

Taking your inspiration from sculptures by the two artists above, you are going to use your imagination and create a living. moving sculpture with your body and various random objects.


You Need

  • A garden hose or similar “bendy” piping.
  • Long woollen scarves.
  • Rope.
  • Brightly coloured cut-out cardboard shapes.
  • Anything else you think you might like to use.

Do it!

  • Look carefully at Standing Mobile by Alexander Calder and Beulah by William Tucker. Notice how one has a mix of straight frames and shapes and the other is a curving, twisting structure. Imagine if they came to life! See them moving, bending and twisting in all directions.
  • Begin your creative work by moving your own body in straight fixed patterns then soft, wiggly ones.
  • Now add your “props” and use them as you move. Try balancing the different cut-out shapes on different parts of your body or glide them through space. Wiggle and wriggle with the curling bendy props to make curving lines through space as you move.
  • Work with your friends or family to create a bigger movement sequence like a “spaghetti dance” where you can bend low and swoop high with your bendy props.
  • “Share” your sculptures with each other by taking turns to be the sculpture or the “audience”.
  • Talk about how the sculptures make you feel, both when you are a sculpture and when you look at one. Tell each other what you like about the sculptures.

Top Tips

  • When you are moving into sculpted shapes you could try the “Standing Mobile” game. One person is the traffic light. When they call green, everyone moves around the room like the sculpture. Try swooping, whirling and rocking. When amber is called you must balance on three points, trying not to fall over. When red is called you must stay perfectly still.
  • Use some of the shapes you have cut out and make them into mobiles to hang off furniture in your house or trees in the garden.