Rock Garden of Chandigarh

The Rock Garden of Chandigarh gives ‘garden’ a whole new meaning!

  • The Rock Garden of Chandigarh is located in the city of Chandigarh in northern India, and it is a recreational area full of sculptures.
  • The ‘Rock Garden of Chandigarh’ is also known as ‘Nek Chand’s Rock Garden’ and ‘Chandigarh Rock Garden’.
  • The creation of the Rock Garden of Chandigarh began as a hobby in the late 1950s by Nek Chand, an Indian government road and transport employee at the time, illegally, on government land.
  • The Rock Garden of Chandigarh covers an area of roughly 10.1 hectares (25 acres), while a similar, though much smaller garden made by Nek Chand, can be found in Kerala, in southern India.
  • The initially illegal and secret Rock Garden of Chandigarh was first discovered in 1975 by government authorities, however the garden was not destroyed as expected, due to numerous protests from the public.
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Sculpture of the Rock Garden of Chandigarh
Image courtesy of Rishabh Mathur/Flickr
  • All sculptures of the Rock Garden of Chandigarh are mostly made from recycled materials, that were typically discarded, or salvaged from buildings that were being knocked down.
  • The Rock Garden of Chandigarh was officially recognised by the government in 1976, despite its illegal origins, and funds were provided by the city so that the project could grow to a larger scale, with a team of 50 workers, and Nek Chand as director.
  • Thousands of people visit the Rock Garden of Chandigarh every day, and an entrance fee is payable to view the garden.
  • Rock Garden of Chandigarh was subject to vandalism in 1996 to 1997, when government funds, and therefore workers, were withdrawn, while the garden’s creator, Nek Chand, was visiting the USA.
  • Man-made waterfalls, over 2000 sculptures, and numerous rock formations populate the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, to create a fictional kingdom.
Bibliography:
Maizels J, Nek Chand Obituary, 2015, The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jun/15/nek-chand
Rock Garden, 2006, Chandigarh Tourism, http://chandigarhtourism.gov.in/Chandigarh%20Tourism%20-%20places%20to%20see-rock_garden.htm
Rock Garden of Chandigarh, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Garden_of_Chandigarh

http://nekchand.com/about-foundation

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Museo Subacuático de Arte

The Museo Subacuático de Arte takes things to a whole new level.

  • The Museo Subacuático de Arte is a museum of sculptures that can be found underwater, in the Mexican waters around the city of Cancun; the island Isla Mujeres; and the resort area Punta Nizuc; between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
  • The ‘Museo Subacuático de Arte’, literally means ‘Museum of Underwater Art’, and it is also known by the name ‘Cancun Underwater Museum’, while the acronym ‘MUSA’ is also used in reference to the museum.
  • More than 500 statues and sculptures populate the Museo Subacuático de Arte across two areas, the first area or ‘gallery’, as it is called, being Salon Manchones, featuring more than 470 statues at a depth of 8 metres (26 feet), and the second named Salon Nizuc with more than 20, at a depth of 4 metres (13 feet).
  • The Museo Subacuático de Arte was created with the intent to draw visitors away from the natural reefs nearby, that were suffering damage from tourism, to the artificial reefs formed in the museum; and it now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
  • The shallow gallery area of the Museo Subacuático de Arte can be seen through a glass-bottom boat tour or snorkeling, while the deeper area can be viewed by scuba diving.
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An Exhibit of the Museo Subacuático de Arte
Image courtesy of snackariah/Flickr
  • The Museo Subacuático de Arte project was originally formed and coordinated by Jaime González Cano, the marine park director; Roberto Díaz Abraham, the Cancun Nautical Association President; and Jason deCaires Taylor, a sculptor from Britain.
  • Six different sculptors have contributed to the Museo Subacuático de Arte gallery, with the vast majority of pieces created by Jason deClaires Taylor; and there are replicas of some of the sculptures in a nearby visitors centre that is dedicated to the museum.
  • The sculptures of the Museo Subacuático de Arte are made with marine-friendly concrete, and originally had a combined weight of 181 tonnes (200 tons), and in 2015, they utilised a space greater than 420 square metres (4521 feet).
  • Due to the Museo Subacuático de Arte being located in the protected area of the National Marine Park of Cancun, a permit was required to sink sculptures in the water.
  • Exhibits of the Museo Subacuático de Arte began arriving in 2009, with the most recent sculpture being placed in 2013, though it is possible that many more will be added in the future, as the permit allows them to place up to 10,000 sculptures, though large amounts of funding is required to add more to the museum.
Bibliography:
Cancun Underwater Museum, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancun_Underwater_Museum
MEXICO: Jason deCaires Taylor’s Stunning Cancun Underwater Museum, 2013, Green Global Travel, http://greenglobaltravel.com/2013/08/14/jason-decaires-taylor-cancun-underwater-museum/
Museo Subacuático de Arte, 2016, MUSA, http://musamexico.org/
Nolan S, A real-life Atlantis: British artist creates stunning sculpture city under the sea off Mexico, 2013, Daily Mail Australia, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2463180/Jason-deCaires-Taylor-British-artists-unveils-latest-set-stunning-sub-aquatic-sculptures.html
 Projects: Mexico, n.d, Jason deCaires Taylor, http://www.underwatersculpture.com/projects/mexico/

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Picture Frame

I’ve been framed! *points at picture frame*

  • Picture frames are framing borders used primarily on images to protect, exhibit and enhance or complement the image.
  • ‘Picture frames’ are also known as ‘photo frames’, and they generally include some form of hanging system or standing mechanism on the back so that they can be displayed on a shelf or piece of furniture, or a wall.
  • Materials used to make picture frames vary; traditionally wood is used, but plastic, and metal such as aluminium, bronze and silver are sometimes used; and they were commonly gilded, although other cheaper methods of colouring frames are now often employed.
  • Glass may be used in picture frames for further protection of the image, though it is generally excluded for artworks made of acrylic or oil mediums due to their special properties; while most frames will have a type of spacer, like a mount or mat board, between the glass and the picture to separate the two, which is important to protect the picture from condensation, or from being damaged or smudged.
  • Picture frames are generally a rectangular, elliptical or circular shape, while other shaped frames are typically reserved for framing photographs, though modern digital frames are designed specifically to display digital images.
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  • Artworks and photographs are the main two items framed with picture frames, especially those of significant value or personal importance, while mirrors, special documents like certificates, and other items are also often framed.
  • Among the first picture frames known to exist, is a frame made of wood from the 50s to 70s AD, found in an Egyptian grave, and features a portrait of a woman.
  • Picture frames were utilised in European society by the 1100s AD, reaching peak artistic value by the 1500s and 1600s, with many different frame styles emerging.
  • Picture frames may simply have a rounded or square edge, while others are moulded or sculpted, sometimes very ornately, and are sometimes considered works of art themselves.
  • Pictures frames are often custom made and come in unlimited colours and sizes, and they can be very large, covering the most part of a wall, or be as small as a matchbox.
Bibliography:
Framed Portrait of a Woman, with Cord for Suspension, n.d, The British Museum, http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/gr/f/framed_portrait_of_a_woman.aspx
Museums, Frames and Context: Thinking Through The Picture Frame, n.d, Museums of Aotearoa, http://www.museumsaotearoa.org.nz/sites/default/files/te_ara/3212mormulow.pdf
Picture Frame, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picture_frame

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Angel of the North

The guardian of the north is the Angel of the North.

  • The Angel of the North is a modern-styled statue depicting an angel with spread wings, found in the area of England’s Gateshead, in Europe.
  • Known as the largest angel statue in the world, the Angel of the North reaches 20 metres (65 feet) in height and has wings that spread over a distance of 54 metres (177 feet) in length.
  • The wings of the Angel of the North, also called Gateshead Flasher, feature a 3.5° forward tilt, chosen to display a feeling of embrace.
  • British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley designed the Angel of the North under commission by the Gateshead Council in 1994, and it was completed in early 1998.
  • The Angel of the North was designed to mark a coal mine located below the site; to symbolise movement into an information age; and act as a pivotal point for hopes and fears.
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The Angel of the North
Image courtesy of Auntie P/Flickr
  • The Angel of the North has been engineered to withstand gales of around 160 kilometres per hour (100 miles per hour), and it was carefully engineered by Ove Arup & Partners.
  • Weather resistant brown steel, known as corten steel, that contains a small amount of copper, was used as the main material to enhance the Angel of the North‘s durability in outside weather, and the sculpture was built in four parts – the two wings and body which were manufactured off-site, plus the concrete foundations created on-site.
  • The wings and body of the Angel of the North combined, weigh 200 tonnes (220.5 tons), while the foundation weighs 600 tonnes (661.5 tons) and reaches at least 20 metres (66 feet) underground.
  • The final Angel of the North statue had a total cost of 800,000 pounds (roughly 1.24 million USD), while smaller scaled models have been sold for as much as 1 and 2 million pounds.
  • The viewing rate of the Angel of the North averages around 90,000 people each day due to vehicles passing by in the area, which equates to over a person a second, while the approximate number of visitors to the sculpture in a year is 150,000 people.
Bibliography:
Angel of the North, 2015, Gateshead Council, http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Leisure%20and%20Culture/attractions/Angel/Home.aspx
Angel of the North, 2015, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_of_the_North

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Lascaux Cave

Lascaux Cave contains a past of mysteries.

  • Lascaux Cave, also known simply as ‘Lascaux’, is a group of connected caves located in the Vézère Valley in France’s region of Aquitaine, in Europe.
  • Lascaux Cave is famous for its cave artwork that is believed to have been created more than 15,000 years ago, in the late Stone Age.
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Convention declared the Lascaux Cave a World Heritage Site in 1979, as part of a group of prehistoric sites and caves in the area.
  • Lascaux Cave was accidentally discovered in September 1940 by Marcel Ravidat and his friends, who were in their late teens at the time.
  • Approximately 600 drawings and 1500 engravings can be found in Lascaux Cave, featuring patterns, and human and animal depictions, in colours of red, black, yellow, violet and brown.
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Part of Lascaux Cave
Image courtesy of Bayes Ahmed/Flickr
  • Lascaux Cave was opened publicly from 1948 to 1963, and later, and nearby, much of the cave and paintings were meticulously replicated over a period of 12 years, to make what is known as Lascaux II, which was opened in 1983 and is visited by thousands of people each year.
  • The meaning of the Lascaux Cave paintings is disputed, and some proposed theories include that they are documentations of life and hunting, or they are religious metaphors.
  • The paintings of Lascaux Cave are endangered by constantly growing mould and deterioration, and the cave was closed from public view in 1963, due to increased carbon dioxide levels from visitors, and the lighting and air conditioning system has also contributed to the problem.
  • Paintings and engravings were not the only artefacts found in Lascaux Cave, as bones, tools and other objects were also discovered.
  • The small original opening into Lascaux Cave was enlarged to make an entrance that was easily accessible to visitors, however, this changed the airflow in the cave, which contributed to the deterioration of some of the paintings.
Bibliography:
Lascaux, 2015, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux
Lascaux (ca. 15,000 B.C.), 2015, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/lasc/hd_lasc.htm
Lascaux cave paintings discovered, 2015, History, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/lascaux-cave-paintings-discovered
Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley, 2015, UNESCO World Heritage Convention, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/85

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Acrylic Paint

Express art beautifully using acrylic paint.

  • Acrylic paint is a paint that is made from the combination of pigment and acrylic polymer emulsion, which contains acrylic resin and water.
  • The resin used in acrylic paints was first patented in 1915 by a chemist and inventor Otto Röhm from Germany.
  • Acrylic paints began to be developed in the 1920s to the 1940s and were able to be bought commercially in the 1950s.
  • Acrylic paints is a practical paint when cleaning, as it is water soluble, making it generally easily removed with water, but once it is dried on canvas, it can prove difficult to remove.
  • Acrylic paints have characteristics that can be easily modified with mediums or water, which can affect the way it looks when dried, as well as its texture, and hardness.

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  • There are two main grades of acrylic paint, and they generally reflect the quality and how much pigment exists in the paint, with ‘artist’ or ‘professional’ grade paint being the best quality and including more pigment, with a ‘student’ or ‘studio’ grade being a cheaper paint with less pigment.
  • Acrylic paints can often resemble oil paints or water paints, or have the unique texture of acrylics.
  • Acrylic paints are often used in schools as they can be produced with non-toxic ingredients, and they are also used professionally by artists, as well as being the base or the main ingredient of water-based house paints.
  • Acrylic paints were popular during the pop art, abstract art and photorealism periods in the 1900s, and have remained very popular due to their flexible nature, providing less cracking; versatility; and their quick drying characteristics.
  • Acrylic paint is often used in techniques such as repetitive paint coats and is often glossed with a gloss medium for finishing and sealing the work.
Bibliography:
Acrylic Paint, 2013, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrylic_paint
History of Acrylic Painting, 2014, ARTmine, http://www.art-mine.com/for-sale/paintings-submedium-acrylic/history-of-acrylic-painting

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