• Lou Watson

Un-boxing the imagination - with Bruce!

Hi JAM friends - today our special guest on JAM Blog is artist Bruce Conkle.

Bruce thinks outside the box A LOT when it comes to his artwork, so surely he is the perfect person to share with us his thoughts about art, inventions and imagination,

thanks for swinging by JAM Blog Bruce - what are you going to talk about?

Imagination is at the heart of being an artist and an inventor

"An inventor is someone who imagines something that does not exist and then figures out a way to create it. This also describes what an artist does. By imagining something and then bringing it into existence by using one’s imagination and hard work is how a lot of inventions and art are made.

(here is a photo of an artwork by Bruce called "The Wooden Carrot", it's an invention that will keep a snowman "alive" during global warming!)

If you go back far enough, artists and inventors were the same thing, and our ancient ancestors that invented cave painting had to find a way to mix pigments into paint so it would stick to the walls. So the first cave painter was an artist and also an inventor, and it is quite possible people were making art before they could even make fire.

(this is a picture of a painting in a cave in Spain - archeologists think the oldest paintings in this cave were made 36,000 years ago!)

This was a long, long, long time ago. I’m pretty sure pants hadn’t been invented, and yet people were already both inventors and artists!

(talking of pants, here is a crazy sculpture by artist Mark Jenkins)

Young people tend to have very active imaginations, which makes youthful citizens such great artists and inventors. Young people’s inventions are very imaginative but not always practical, as can be seen from some of the artworks on display here at the Junior Art Museum.

("A Fairy Boat with Two Seats and a Shower" by

Scarlett Beato - on view in the JAM inventions gallery)

If you are a young artist/ inventor, now is a great time to show off your ideas by sending a picture of it to JAM. If you have already outgrown your childhood, I hope you enjoy looking through the gallery here and re-experiencing the wonderful imagination of youth."

---Bruce Conkle

Thanks Bruce.

It's definitely true that the more you use your imagination, the more inventive and innovative you are likely to become! Tim Hunkin (another really cool inventor/artist from the UK) has spent his life designing and making all manner of weird contraptions. He never seems to run out of ideas and in fact his ideas seem to just get wilder and wilder. Below is an example of one of his inventions, it's a "Rent-a-Dog" machine for people who want to take a dog for a walk, but don't have a dog (or don't like cleaning up dog poop!).

And the picture below shows a machine Tim made to help people who use a walking frame get practice crossing busy roads...

So what is your dream machine? We at JAM cannot wait to see.

Happy inventing - now go un-box that imagination!


JAM ON(line)!