“The picture . . . has the unity of an organism. Its elements were not put together with whatever skill or taste or ingenuity. It came into being as an instant act of sight.”— Aaron Siskind.
This art project is inspired by Aaron Siskind’s photographs in the exhibition, Act of Sight: The Tsiaras Family Photography Collection. All of our Art @ Home projects are designed for artists of all ages to create on their own, using inexpensive and recycled materials.
There are multiple photographs in the Tsiaras Collection where Aaron Siskind has chosen to focus on details that one might easily pass by without noticing the patterns and textures—a curled-up glove on wood in Gloucester, seaweed making an interesting design on a sandy beach in Sea Weed 4, and peeling paint patterns on a wall in Chicago 27.
For this art project, you will need a phone with a camera, or an actual camera. If you don’t have access to these resources, ask a friend or family member who does have a phone with a camera to do this project with you. And, if you can’t think of anyone, email [email protected] and we’d be happy to find a museum staff member or museum student worker to do this project with you.
Take a walk outside, looking for interesting details on walls in downtown spaces, your neighborhood, and outdoor spaces. It was not uncommon for Siskind to study and photograph a surface for hours, so there is no need to rush the process. Look for interesting details, and take lots of photographs.
Here are some examples of photographs that frame interesting details in outdoor spaces that were taken with a camera phone:
Have fun being creative—we can’t wait to see how this artist inspires you! Tag us @ColbyMuseum on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ArtAtHome, and we might share your creation with our followers.