@MarDixon Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
  • Live Tweeting for @Tate_Kids #hirstspinpainting (& meeting Damien Hirst!)

    June 18th, 2012mardixonCulture

    Guest Blog by Charlotte Dixon:

    I was invited by Tate Kids to Damien Hirst Plate Spinning event to live tweet. That is when you tweet what you see as it’s happening.  Kids Co is a great charity for kids in London who teamed up with Damien Hirst and Tate for this activity.  Damien is a supporter of the charity.

    What it was like:

    We got there about 8 and watched the Lab Coat team setup. These were the people who were helping the kids make their plate.  We found this amusing as not everything went right which is why it is best to always have a test run! But it was a motto for the day: Nothing could be perfect – squirting paint so isn’t going to turn out exactly the way you want but it’s still going to produce beautiful art!

    When the crowd started to get there (the press especially!) the pace started to pick up.  We were allowed into the area when the schools and groups started arriving and noticed I noticed Camila Batmanghelidjh from Kids Co talking to a group of kids.  She is so bubbly!

    Soon after Damien Hirst arrived and there was a photoshoot with Damien and Camila and kids from Kids Co making a spinning plate.  The journalist were very nice and allowed me and my mom to take photos in front of them.   They made a skull plate and used a lot of different colours.  Then only Damien and Camila made a heart shaped plate with mainly red paint but it was very nice!

    There was a lot of pictures and interviews with Damien and Camila.  I was able to get some pictures of them but couldn’t really hear what they were saying.  Damien was even kind enough to have his picture with me and give me an autograph. Although Camila and Damien were so busy, they were very nice to all the kids and tried to have their photo taken with as many as they could.

    After they left, there were still schools and groups coming in and I was able to do a plate with a school.  There was a very nice lady who was MC’ing throughout the day and getting some of the kids on stage with her.  She also made sure there was funky music playing.  I was asked to talk about the tweets. Tthe most popular at the time was:

    Art is important for children says Camilla & Damien a huge supporter of Kids Co. #hirstspinpainting http://t.co/J8rTrHhz.

    To make a plate:

    First we had to write our name, age and school down on a sticker. We also received a ‘I heart DH pin’! Then we had to choose a template. The choices were: a skull, circle, shark. Rocket, butterfly and heart.  I chose the skull. We put on aprons which covered our clothes and went to the stencil drawer to get our template.

    Each group stayed together and we took turns watching the plates being made.  The Two lab coat people (who were very nice!) would call one up to the step which was basically a box which said ‘Specialist Artist.’ First they took your stencil and put it on the plate and pinned it down with pins. One Lab Coat person would ask you what colour paints you wanted and the other would put water on the stencil with a paint brush. The Lab Coat would hand you the paint you picked out for instances I picked turquoise, gold and silver, and a purply-maroon. I squirted the paint onto the skull and the lady Lab Coat pressed her foot on the peddle to make the plate spin around (like a pottery wheel). We had to wear safety glasses in case paint splashed up.  After, they took the art to the drying trays.

    I was interviewed by a nice lady from Science Inc (as were others) on what my experience was like.

    What they said:

    It was great to hear the kids excitement after they made their art:

    ‘That is absolutely amazing!’


    ‘I’ve never been proudier of anything in my life!’

    ‘Am I pleased? I’m over the moon!’

    Camila even said ‘Go back to childhood and be free in a Spin painting.’

    If you missed the day, you can have a go on Spin, a game on Tate Kids website.  It’s a lot of fun!

    My mom archived the tweets here.

    I can’t thank Tate Kids enough for letting me Guest Live Tweet the event.  It was a lot of fun and a day I’ll always remember. 

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