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In this project, we are looking at an artwork by the American artist Lynda Benglis.

Benglis uses the human body and landscape as a starting point for her artworks. She is interested in the process of making an artwork. This has led her to experiment with materials, from poured latex and wax, to precious metals and glass. Her work is both sculptural and colourful. Benglis makes artworks that are physical and immediate—this means when you are actually looking at her artworks in a gallery, they are very striking and you really remember their shapes, colours and size.

Let’s look at one of Benglis’s artworks from the IMMA Collection – it is called Caelum, 1986. What do you think this artwork looks like? What do you think it is made from? Does this artwork shape remind you of something?

Using aluminium foil, let’s try and make our own sculpture inspired by this artwork.

What you will need:

  • Scissors
  • Aluminium foil
  • Glue
  • Foam shape (something that you can wrap the foil around to make different shapes)

 

Now, let’s get to work:

  • Begin by cutting around six to eight pieces of foil (depending on the overall size you want your sculpture to be). Your work will be more interesting if you vary the sizes of the foil.
  • Start to pleat the foil to create a fan like shape. Once you have two long pieces finished, knot these together.
  • Very gently open out the foil to reveal your fan like shapes.
  • Then using another piece of foil, repeat the pleating technique. Once you have finished open it out and using the foam ball (or any other interesting shape you might have around your house), gently wrap the foil around half of the ball.
  • Now very carefully take the foil off the foam and you can begin to glue it to your main knotted piece.
  • You can add as many foil pieces as you like to create an interesting sculpture.

 

You might decide to add colour or glitter like some of the other wall sculptures that the artist has made.

Remember to take a photograph of your creation and please, share your results, your experiments, and artworks with the hashtag #ExploreratHome


About the Artist

Lynda Benglis b.1941

American artist Lynda Benglis received her B.F.A. from Newcomb College, New Orleans, in 1964. Taking the body and landscape as primary references, she creates work that exudes immediacy and physicality. Her interest in process has led Benglis to experiment with materials, from poured latex and wax, to precious metals and glass. She has exhibited worldwide at venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern and Tate Liverpool. Her work is represented in major collections including MoMa, New York, and the Tate.
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