Ziggle! reviewed on New Zealand Arts Review


John Daly-Peoples has reviewed Ziggle!: The Len Lye art activity book by Rebecca Fawkner on New Zealand Arts Review:

“Ziggle! The Len Lye Art Activity Book” is  an art activity book filled with ideas and inspirational ways of looking at the art of Len Lye and the way artists create art. The book has been developed by the author and education team at the Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth and has grown out of the years of experience the team at the gallery has gained in their approaches to the  art  of Lye.

Rebecca Fawkner notes about her personal;  connection with Lye’s work saying “ I didn’t meet Len’s art until I was a grown-up, but it was love at first sight. I was inspired to really pay attention to things I hadn’t taken time to focus on before, like the particular way the waves roll over or the pattern the twinkles of the sun make on the sea. I also loved his idea of ‘empathy’ or ‘Body English’ as he calls it. It hadn’t occurred to me that the sensation of feeling movement made by another in one’s own body could be an inspiration for art. I think any of those noticing and sensing activities are my favourites. Oh, and the shadow puppet play — always so much fun.

The book has 65 activities along with  a short history of the artist’s work across a range of media with numerous quotes from the artist as well as many illustrations of his work.

While the book has been developed as a resource for teachers it is also a great source of ideas for parents to use both within the gallery environment or at home, to engage with children, providing many hours of thoughtful and creative approaches to art making..

Even though the book is aimed at children it is also a great introduction for adults to the art and ideas of Len Lye. In taking a simplistic approach to the artist’s work the various chapters provide a set of ways of looking at the artist.

The author places a lot of emphasis on using all one’s senses in responding to the artist’s work, so as well as  looking the viewer should be aware of texture, sound, taste, smell and text.

Many of the exercises demonstrate the nature of Lyes art with an understanding and  simplicity.  One of the activities involves the making of a set of  poi which leads onto the idea of movement and the way that Lye created art works which move, rotate, describe shapes and trajectories.

This is  great book for teachers, parents and children, presenting the art of Len Lye and art in general in an entertaining and inspiring way.’