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BOUNCY BALLS COLLECTION

For the Bouncy Ball series, we made paintings using bouncy balls and pistachio shells that were filled/covered with paint, and then put in a cardboard box which was then given a good shake.

We took elements from the finished piece to form these quite different patterns. One has most of the splatter, zoomed out. The other has taken a handful of splatter elements, zoomed in.

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The Artist who Paints on Chewing Gum! Introducing Ben Wilson…

London artist Ben Wilson and his amazing chewing gum paintings left us marvelling. Thought you might like a look too…

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Ben Wilson hard at work on one of his miniature masterpieces.

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Street scene.

Ben Wilson's amazing chewing gum art.

Attention to detail.

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               A lovely fry up.

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A summer strawberry.

And to sign off, here’s a thank you gift for reading our blog.

A little something for all those who, like Ben Wilson, like to look on the fun side of life… Press the button to find out what it is!

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5 Reasons why we love… Dr Seuss

‘If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.’

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Could Theodor Seuss Giesel the best writer of children’s books the world has ever known? We think he might be… for these five reasons.images-61. He went his own way, as a rule breaker and a literary pioneer. He had the courage to try something that no one had ever done before. There’s a great sense of freedom surging though his work.

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2. Dr Seuss mastered the language of children and regarded them with great respect. The building blocks of his fantastic prose is a simple, child-like lexicon.
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3. His imagination for the absurd was second to none. His surreal plots and sensationally silly characters are illogical, anarchic and fun. Just like children are.
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4. In his life he was an active champion of the underdog. You get the impression these sentiments expressed in Yertle the Turtle were in fact his own: “I know, up on top you are seeing great sights, But down at the bottom we, too, should have rights.”
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5. Through very silly means, he had the ability to confer great wisdom. Whether that’s encouraging children to develop a love of reading: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go,” or reminding them to actively create their life’s course: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,” he just had a way of making it all seem exciting, of making you want to listen to what he had to teach.

 

On top of all these reasons the thing we love most of all is how he viewed the world. The only way, the best way: with humour.

                            “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

If reading about Dr Seuss has inspired you to have more fun, then here is a parting gift for you: an absolutely free (and very good) e-course delivered straight to your inbox on Having Fun. Click the button below!ButtonToPress

 

5 Reasons why we love… Carl Sagan

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” Carl Sagan

Carl Edward Sagan, the New Yorker who handed the universe on a plate to millions of people, will forever be one of our great heroes. Here’s why:

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1. He was a creative genius who treated science like a mosaic. He handled it with artistry, curating discoveries from across the history and many fields of science. His musings had a poetic flow that effortlessly plaited things together.

2. His playful approach, his lightness of touch, managed to engage millions of people with subjects they would have previously dismissed as either dull or beyond their understanding. He was a great exemplar of how fun can be a pillar of success.

3. The way he could communicate complex ideas in simple, non-patronising terms was phenomenal. His communication style could only be described as visionary; it ignited a sense of wonder and deep awe in the listener. He was an extraordinary teacher. And don’t get us started on his wonderful voice.

“I think I’m able to explain things because understanding wasn’t entirely easy for me. Some things that the most brilliant students were able to see instantly I had to work to understand. I can remember what I had to do to figure it out. The very brilliant ones figure it out so fast they never see the mechanics of understanding.” Carl Sagan

4. A profound undercurrent of beauty ran through all his observations about the universe. This speaks directly to and brings to life the innate ability to appreciate beauty and be fed by it that lies in all of us. After watching his series, Cosmos, the beauty of the world, the universe and our place in it will always speak a little louder to you than it did before.

5. Then, or course, there was his tremendous energy. Carl Sagan’s approach to life was brimming with enthusiasm and verve. Some colleagues even described him as reckless. He shot through his life like a rocket and burned as bright as  a supernova. Authoring dozens of books, making the Cosmos television series, dizzying academic achievements, editing, teaching, campaigning, working with Nasa… he really couldn’t have made more of his time here, living on the pale blue dot.

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Carl Sagan on the first footage of Earth seen from space:

“That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you have ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives…Every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every revered teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

We hope you enjoyed reading our Carl Sagan blog. Beacause we appreciate you taking the time, we have  here a a little present for you, as a thank you for visiting us.
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NB. Click the red button!

 

 

Our latest lot of Crap Jokes

Crap Jokes! If you’re a fan of Barfoot + Duggan, you’ll probably know that we love ’em.

Any joke which makes people groan, or which is so obvious/bad that people don’t get the punchline… they are right up our street. So here we have all the most recent crap jokes we’ve made into image format for you.

If you’re a mega-fan of these funnies, you might want to delve deeper and see our entire library of crap jokes, in that case, our Pinterest Board ‘It’s All About the Jokes Folks’ is the one for you.

If you liked this collection, you might like to read our blog post about cracking April Fools pranks… we know it’s not April, but you could call this ‘research’! Thanks for reading!

We’re Inspired by… Grayson Perry

“Creativity is mistakes.”  –  Grayson Perry

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One man we love a lot is Grayson Perry. Born in Essex, 1960, it’s fair to say he’s gone on to become one of the Nation’s best-loved artists and here’s why. The playfulness and fun that radiate out from his work is set off by the stealthy, subversive commentary it contains. The traditional craft mediums of pottery and embroidery that he uses feel informal, intimate and comfortable. They draw the viewer in close in much the same way a person might gently take you by the elbow so they can confide something in your ear. There’s something inherently accessible about Grayson Perry. On the level. And we appreciate that because it’s…well, it’s friendly!

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Here’s a vase he made about what Grayson calls ‘Default Man…A white, middle-class, middle-aged, heterosexual man, an identity group that hides in plain sight.”’  It bears motifs of MP Chris Huhne, (the one who got his wife to take his speeding points for him, got caught and went to prison), his personalised registration plate and a phallus. The fact the vase has been smashed speaks for itself!

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And here we have a detail from his Walthamstow Tapestry, which won the 2003 Turner Prize. It depicts the seven ages of man against a branded back-drop of modern life. Mums with prams, carrier bags in trees, kids on mobiles, armed soldiers, suicide bombers ready to detonate all jostling against a vast consumerist back-drop. The tapestry is massive – fifteen by three metres, and it blows your mind to look at.

Besides the outstanding nature of his work, Grayson Perry inspires us with his humour and humility. For a man who’s achieved so much, he never seems to take himself too seriously, and this is summed up best by the man himself:

“Ridiculous for me is a compliment.” 

If you liked finding out a little bit about Grayson, there’s plenty more where that came from – other artists who inspire us include Cy Twombly, Martin Creed and Cornelia Parker. Could there be an easier way to expand your contemporary art knowledge?

P.S. To thank you for reading our blog, here’s a little something for you, in the name of Having Fun. Just click the pink button below…ButtonToPress

We’re Inspired by…. Joseph Cornell

“Collage = Reality.”  –  Joseph Cornell

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Shy New Yorker Joseph Cornell was the undisputed king of collage whose career spanned 40 years. He was a day-dreamer, self-taught as an artist, with a great thirst for knowledge in general. Deeply religious and pleasantly nutty, he believed that “Mind…is the only real substance”. And we love him!

He was linked to the Surrealist movement but had a style that could not be pinned down and became renowned for his ‘shadow boxes’ – collaged assemblages within wooden box frames. The creative categorisation and arrangement of small items fascinated him, and he kept an extensive and ever expanding collection of found objects in his cellar-studio which he referred to as his laboratory.

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His ‘Object (Soap Bubble Set)’, with its fossils, alludes to the grand sweep of geological time unfolding, and presents it as if it were a bubble, gone in the blink of an eye. We notice that his careful arrangement of seemingly naive media often revealed profound insight.

Something else that we love about his work is that its exploration of the world radiates with a child-like innocence. From his pieces you sense he had a tremendous ability to transport himself, and become utterly absorbed into what the moment or object evokes. Again, this reminds us to the freedom you find in children’s minds, and his work can link us adults back to that.

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Cornell’s work is here to remind us, we think, that that ability to voyage with the mind exists in us all, even if we sometimes forget to use it.

“Beauty should be shared for it enhances our joys.” – Joseph Cornell

This blog is part of a series about artists who inspire, including Cornelia Parker, Gehard Richter and Wassily Kandinsky. Which artists inspire you? We would love to hear about them.

Songs to Make You Dance, part 2

Welcome! This is Part 2 in our series of songs to make you dance. Turns out there are SO MANY songs which get out toes tapping. Let’s get started….

T-Connection – Do What You Wanna Do. A marvellously jolly disco classic. We like the pace, the ethos and those smooth vocals. Our feet are tap-tapping.

Duck Sauce – Charlie Chazz & Rappin Ralph. We can’t get enough of Duck Sauce. Exceptional music to run to as well as silly-dance to, we think that’s because of the fast RPM. Love that chorus and the “Awwwww yeahhhh” vocal. And what on earth is going on right at the end??

UB40 and Pato Banton – Baby Come Back. We’re slightly cringing here, but this is WONDERFUL. “Bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye bye” is lyrical genius. That reggae beat makes this perfecto for silly-dancing. Start off with the running man and see where it takes you – just make sure those curtains are shut!

Nick Monaco – Freak Flag. This one takes a while to kick-in but it’s worth it, down-beat and a little bit sexy, this’ll get your knees subtly shaking. And extra silly-dancing points if you pretend to play that glockenspiel whilst dancing.

Polar Bear – Peepers. Get your jazz groove on, your saxophone out and really get into this one. We don’t know if there’s a better song than this one, and it gets even better the more you listen to it. Polar Bear are brill!

Quincy Jones – Ai No corrida. We thought this song was good… and then we found the video. The guy in the all-red outfit has some impeccable moves. Wack this on super-loud and copy some of those steps, go on!

ESG – Dance. What a corking video! Certainly some moves here which you can steal. Swivel those hips and do what this song is telling you to do – dance!

If you enjoyed this, come have a look at part 1 in this series of Music to Dance to. We’ve had a rather nice time putting these collections together. If you want to recommend us some music, submit your favourites to us by dropping us a line: lucy @ barfootandduggan.co.uk. We’d love to hear your ideas.