Term: 2 Year: 2008
Mobiles inspired by the work of Alexander Calder
Alexander Calder was one of America’s most celebrated contemporary sculptors. His work captured the spirit
of his time by making movement, motion and colour the central element of his sculptural work.
Calder invented the hanging mobile, dancing in the air, but he was equally famous for his monumental sculptures or
“Stabiles” He also experimented with wire sculptures, tapestries, jewellery and painting.
It was his energetic experimentation and artistic curiosity that inspired this unit of work.
Year 4 students observed and discussed a range of mobiles created by Calder. Through discussion students defined
a mobile as a sculptural form that moved through either human, mechanical or natural force. They discussed art elements
and design principles used by Calder to create his works. As many of Calder’s mobiles were made of plastic,
we used reclaimed floppy discs and coloured plastic contact as our media.
Students explored collage processes, with their only restriction being that their completed disc must contain a symbol.
Students defined a symbol as a shape that conveyed meaning.
Students collaborated to join their discs using coloured wire and they arranged and adhered coloured contact over
bamboo poles to create their “Stabiles”
Students interpreted their disc in drawn form. They found that they had to use the reverse process to that of collage.
Students are now making their own mobiles using a range of media.
Visual Arts Teacher
Camberwell Grammar Junior School
Suitable for Level 3