Games were important to Jean Paul—throughout his life, he was known as someone who enjoyed playing games.
Here’s a proposal for a creative project that celebrates the playful side of this great artist: creating your own game, There Once Was a Circus in the Night…. It’s a way to appreciate works of art, create, and have fun!
As a team, create a game of Snakes and ladders using Jean Paul’s different playful pieces as inspiration. This project uses modelling, drawing and washing techniques.
A circular 3D object created by rolling malleable clay between hands.
A flat, round disk made while modelling by flattening a sphere with fingers or hands.
Pinching (with Hands)
A modelling technique used to transform malleable clay by firmly pressing it between fingertips (modelling clay, air-drying clay, clay, etc.).
Printing (or Print)
The technique of reproducing an element by pressing a tool over a surface (paper, cardboard, etc.) to obtain a print.
Wood Modelling Tool
A modelling tool with a wooden handle and tip that comes in a variety of different shapes. It is used to dig or remove extra material while modelling clay.
Wire Modelling Tool
A modelling tool with a wooden handle and a tip made of looped wire. It is used to dig or remove extra material while modelling.
Fixing (or Fix)
A gesture used in modeling, shaping or assembling that consists of using a strategy (e.g., pinching a malleable dough with the fingers) or using an adherent substance in order to join different elements.
In the Round
Real volume that can be measured (width, height, depth). It is usually a sculpture that can be observed from all sides.
A painting movement that consists in applying a coloured pigments uniformly across a painted surface.
A repeated decorative design. Patterns can be observed on fabrics, tapestry, plates, etc.
Real or Represented Texture
Elements that form a material's surface. Texture can be real or represented.
Real texture can be observed and felt. It's the result of repeated gestures that create real marks on a surface (lines, points, drips, etc.).
Represented texture is when real texture is imitated on a two-dimensional surface using graphic elements (lines, points, drips, etc.) to reproduce real elements (fish scales, animal fur, bird feathers, etc.).
A tangible volume with measurable dimensions: height, width and moderate depth. Generally a sculpture that is mostly attached to a vertical surface. Its relief is negligible.
The RIO Circus is an imaginary circus that pays tribute to Jean Paul Riopelle. In this circus, there are different artists – fire breathers, acrobats, clowns, magicians – and a master of ceremonies. There are also animals that Jean Paul Riopelle cherished: owls, horses, wolves, monkeys, elephants, lions and others.
One day, the circus arrives in the suburb of a big city to prepare a wonderful show. However, that fateful night, a truck with a huge mechanical shovel begins digging a hole right in the middle of the site! And no one knows why. The artists and animals must quickly escape to try and get to the shelter that’s open 24 hours. Help them get away by building this game!
This project presents an opportunity to discover modelling, drawing and washing techniques.
Get to the shelter as quickly as possible.
After placing the game board on the table, players each choose a piece and then throw the die one at a time to determine who plays first. The player who gets the highest number goes first. Each player plays their turn going clockwise.
The game is played with the same rules as Snakes and Ladders.
Each player places their piece on the Start space. The first player rolls the die, then advances the number of spaces indicated on it. Character pieces that land at the bottom of a ladder can “climb” it to get to the last space faster. But beware: those who land on a space where there’s the head of a snake must slither down its body, leaving them further from the goal.
The first players to arrive to the shelter win.
Optional activities to complete during or after the project
Play with storytelling
Interdisciplinary English idea;
Write a story.
Write a story to explain why the artists and circus animals have to flee their tent in the middle of the night. Write a wacky and fantastical tale that stretches your imagination.
Have fun with philosophy
A way to introduce philosophy to children;
Use a philosophical question as a starting point for a thought experiment.