It’s sometimes tricky to strike that perfect balance – the delicate equilibrium of work, life and play. Take this blog for example. It just had to ‘slot in’ whenever I had a bit of down time. What down time?!
It’s too easy to get caught up in the moment rather than immerse yourself in it. Unless of course you take charge and create your own circus. Which is exactly what Alexander Calder did…
I recently visited his exhibition at the Tate Modern as part of my ‘curiosity day’. I took my 11 year old son along to further his appreciation of all things art-related and yes… I promised him we could fly with the Red Arrows at the Science Museum and eat gelato afterwards. Like I said, it’s about balance!
I was familiar with Alexander Calder’s work but was tickled pink when I realised that this truly talented man was in fact a child at heart. He managed a perfect balancing act in so many ways – from his innovative use of wire to create three dimensional shape, his meticulous constructions that infused motion into sculpture and his indulgence in performance art.
Calder first created his ‘Cirque Calder’ in 1926 and presented it on numerous occasions over the years to fellow artists and socialites such as Léger, Mondrian and Miro to name but a few. Fashioned from wire, fabric, leather, rubber, cork, and other found objects, Cirque Calder is a collection of miniature mechanised sculptures brought to life by Calder himself, the ringmaster extraordinaire.
I’ve always appreciated Calder’s work but now have much better insight into how it originated. I’m struck by how he cleverly combined humour and play to shape his considerable collection of masterpieces.
I walked away from the Tate envying Calder, thinking how wonderful it would be to allow yourself to be a child again, to make a living whilst having loads of fun, quite literally clowning around.
I took a long look at my son… and raced him across the Millennium bridge. We then became jet pilots for the afternoon and yes, the gelato was out of this world!
Lesson learnt. Create your own circus.