Lift the Lid: Colouring with Cage

The very last day of the John Cage exhibition, and our second (and final) opportunity to open the box, get out the 12-sided dice and start colouring. It was a wet and windy day, which blew many families our way. But the despite the large numbers of small children, a remarkable peace reigned: everyone had their head down, concentrating furiously on colouring squares.


The ambient sounds were rolling dice and the scratching of felt pens across paper. It was a delight to see such diversity emerging from such a simple starting point, as many visitors experimented with making up additional colouring rules. This was Cage-style creativity in full flow. We ended up with images redolent of flower gardens, shimmering sun on water, maps, raindrops in sunlight, psychedelic cities, dissolving landscapes, and so on…


As a mother of three remarked, this is actually a relaxing way to make artwork – you don’t have to think about it, you just play the game and enjoy it. There is no anxiety about whether you can draw what is in your head or not.
Most visitors went away with extra colouring grids, so they could keep on working at home.

The pictures above are just of selection of the fabulous array of images which bloomed during the afternoon . “Every day is a good day”, including wet and windy ones.

Many thanks to my volunteers, Ben and Marcia, who, as well as being terrific assistants, got caught up in the process of making work as much as everyone else, with wonderful results.

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