Tag Archive: Light Up Lockdown

  1. Light Up Lockdown with Ultraviolet

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    Nectar Guides are sometime visible as colourful patterns, lines or spots on flower petals they guide a pollinator into the part of the flower where the nectar can be found. Looking closely at some of our Brendel Plant Models, which have been in our natural history collection for over 100 years, allows a closer inspection of Nectar Guides.

    Viola model showing bold line honey guides.

    Flowers with more complex arrangements  of petals have resulted in more intricate arrays of honey guides like the following examples:

    The patterns may or may not always be visible to humans. In some flowers, such as Marsh Marigolds the whole flower head reflects ultraviolet (uv) —a colour particularly attractive to bees and remains completely undetected by us. Ultraviolet is sometimes called “bee violet”. If you view these flowers under ultraviolet light, you will be able to see the pattern and colour that a bee would see.

    These patterns and adaptations have evolved over millions of years to help the plant by assuring good pollination by insects. In return insects get their sweet nectar reward!

    Pea flower showing faint line honey guides
  2. Light Up Lockdown: Online activities

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    It’s February Half-term and no more zoom lessons, so let’s have some fun getting creative instead!

    We’re unable to host Illuminate this year but we’re determined to bring some love and Light Up Lockdown. Why not join in, there is something for everyone. There’s loads to do including live storytelling with Oldham Libraries, Window and Light Painting with artist Isabel Pickup and photographer Tim Simpson and Shadow Puppetry with Frolicked Theatre. You can even create your very own Jam Jar Tealight!

    Find out more and visit our Light Up Webpage:

    Light Up Lockdown

  3. Shadow Puppetry

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    Gran’s Journey to The Moon

    It’s amazing what you can create with cardboard, a light and an old bed sheet….Frolicked Outdoor Theatre reveals how to make your own shadow puppet.

    Gran has made a little shadow puppet show for you and has revealed her behind the scenes secrets to how she made the puppets and how she set up the shadow puppet theatre/screen at the bottom of the stairs.

    What you’ll need

    · Card (the back of a cereal packet is perfect)

    · A marker pen

    · A sharp pencil

    · A lump of plastersine or sticky tac

    · A pair of scissors

    · Some split pins (3 for Gran’s show)

    What you’ll need for to perform a shadow puppet show:

    · An old sheet

    · A place to put your sheet (pull it tight across a door frame, a couple of chairs or between the legs on a big table)

    · A lamp

    · Some masking tape

    · All your set and puppets

    What to do

    Draw your own characters onto card (or print out Gran’s characters and cut them out from card). Create moving parts with separate puppet pieces and some split pins, set up a sheet and a lamp (with some masking tape) in your house and give your family a treat…

    Drawing of set up with lamp, Gran, sheet stairs and puppets.

    Here is Gran demonstrating how to use a shadow puppet against a screen.

    To make your own version of Gran’s shadow puppet show, complete with shadow puppets, follow the instructions below.

    Step by Step Guide

    1. Download Gran’s shadow puppets (Shadow Puppets 1 and ShadowPuppets 2) and print them or draw your own puppets or sets onto card. The thickness of the card from a cereal packet is perfect. Gran used similar white card for hers in the video.

    Template of puppets eing cut out with scissors.

    2. If you’re drawing your own characters, think carefully about where and how you want them to move and remember to add tabs on so you can hold them!

    Cut carefully around all the edges with scissors

    Making window in rocket ship

    3. You can also make holes or flaps in your puppets and sets that can reveal things during your show… think about what surprises you might want to include…

    Piercing holes in puppets for moving parts.

    4. To cut out holes in your puppets, or make the holes for the split pins (to make moving puppet parts), you’ll need a piece of plasticine or sticky tac and a sharp pencil. Put your puppet on the plasticine and push the pencil through the card, either on the ‘x’ (on Gran’s puppets) or where you want the moving parts to be on your puppets.

    Inserting split pins to join card where pieces move.

    5. Push a split pin through the two pieces of card to complete your flaps or puppet moving parts and open the metal bits on the back of the pin to secure the pieces together (on Gran’s puppets, these are the hatches for the rocketship and the moon, and Gran’s moving arm and walking stick).

    Finished shadow puppet of Gran.

    Here is a finished shadow puppet of Gran.

    Here are all the finished set and puppet pieces for Gran’s show.

    Here is Gran using the puppets as part of her show and here is how the shadow show looks from the front. Stick pieces of set directly to the sheet with masking tape.

    Here is how Gran set up her show across the bottom of her stairs.

    REMEMBER to turn the lights off in the room except for your lamp. Add music and sound effects….have fun.

    Can you perform Gran’s Journey to the Moon or can you take your audience on a journey of your own making?

  4. Window Painting

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    “Bring love and light to a long dark winter”

    Have fun creating a colourful window painting using simple materials: masking tape, poster paints and a drop of washing up liquid. It’s a lovely technique which anyone can try; you can make your artwork as intricate or simple as you like!

    What You’ll Need

    To create your window painting, you will need:

    Photo of paint in yoghurt pots, cloth, washing up liquid, newspaper and masking tape.
    • paper and pencil
    • poster paints and paint brushes
    • masking tape
    • washing up liquid
    • old yoghurt pots or similar for mixing your paints

    The masking tape will be used to create an outline on the window, like the lead of stained glass. Once your design has been safely taped on, the colour will be applied. First follow these steps to make your design really special.

    STEP 1: Ideas…

    Quickly sketch imagery to use in your design.

    Example of designs on paper including tulips, a sun on blue background

    Thinking about our theme of “love and light” and the time of year, I’ve sketched hearts, blossom and spring flowers, a sunshine or even a lightbulb! Remember to keep your sketches simple – you are going to recreate them in masking tape and paint, so nice bold shapes work best!

    STEP 2: Design

    Use one or more of these ideas to help you create your design. They will make great cards or pictures to send to people too!

    Window template - simple portrait frame on A4 paper.

    This simple frame is a great starting point. You can use the central rectangle for your main design and then use simple decoration for around the edge. Play around with the shape of your frame so it is a good fit for your window.

    Repeated Pattern – “radial symmetry”

    This simply means repeat your pattern around a central point, a bit like petals on a flower.

    Start by drawing a cross. Add one of your sketches, then repeat in each quarter. Each sketch will be the mirror image of the sketch diagonally opposite. Add 2 or 3 more sketches in a similar way to develop your design.


    Draw a wavey line or a zig zag; whatever shape you like! Now sketch your shapes and arrange them around the line; perhaps they will form a pattern or maybe they will appear to be falling from the sky!

    STEP 3: Now for the painting!

    First, ensure your window is clean and dry, or your tape won’t stick down very well! Next use masking tape to create the entire outline of your design. To help add detail, you can cut or tear the masking tape in half. To add shapes or curves use shorter pieces of tape.

    – Before you get your paints out, clear the area you will be working on and cover any nearby surfaces, particularly the window sill which may get dripped on!

    – Prepare your paints! Add a drop of washing up liquid to your paints; this will help the paint to be more easliy removed later.

    • Now carefully add your paint colours onto the window. Avoid washing your brush too often by working methodically and completing each colour application before moving on to the next colour.
    • To clean your brush, rinse in a jar of clean water, then dry on kitchen towel or old cloth. Having a wet brush will thin the paint and make your colours run. If the colours seem pale, wait for the paint to dry a little then add another layer.
    • Your window painting is complete. Try putting some fairy lights in the window if you have some around – the lights will shine through the colours in the dark.

    Take a look at some of our other Light Up Lockdown activities.

  5. Smartphone Light Painting

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    Light Painting with a Smart Phone

    Use your smartphone to create unique light images!

    1) You can light paint using a smartphone camera, I have an android phone and used the Long Exposure App. This is a free app which lets you save your image at a low resolution.

    2) You will need then need to hold the camera steady. You can do this with 2 bulldog/binder clips.

    3) Once you have the smartphone steady, app loaded and set to ‘Trace’ or exposure set to manual on 5-10 seconds, you will need a dark room with as much space as possible.

    It’s good to have a dark painted wall behind you too if you can, you could hang a sheet up!

    All you need is a dark space so it’s lots of fun to do this outside at night.

    4) With the lights on have a look at what the camera sees, and this is now your 3-dimensional, light painting canvas.

    5) To start with give yourself 5-10 seconds, choose your light source, draw shapes in the air, remember you have the whole space to do this in.

    Always point the torch/light source at the camera so the camera can see what you are doing.

    Circular spiral of multi-coloured lights produced by light painting.

    This is how it looks with the lights on. Here I am using Christmas Tree lights and swinging them around in a circle.

    This is how it will look with the light off.

    6) Some light sources are too bright for the tiny sensor on a smartphone, you could put a piece of paper over the source to dim it down a little. If you are writing your name or drawing a shape with a torch make sure you switch it off in-between words or cover over the end with your hand so the camera does not see the light.

    Heart shape in light against black background.

    This heart was done in the air using a small torch with the smartphone app set to 10 seconds on ‘Light trace.’

    Sometimes ‘less is more’ so don’t paint for too long in one area, use the whole room/space.

    Face in light using light painting technique.

    7) If you have a wide-angle lens attachment for your phone these work well too. The iOS light painting app we used was Magic Lights. LUMNart is a good one for android.

    You can do the same thing outside with any camera set to manual and long exposure. With a small torch I drew a face in the air, it takes a little practice.

    Three faces captured on one light painting.

    8) You can also light yourself so you can be in the picture. Turn the light on and off quickly, move and repeat then you will be in the picture twice, you can do this until you run out of time and have lots of you in the same photo.

    Experiment with different light sources and move around the whole frame. have fun and share your light painting images via Oldham Lockdown Museum.

  6. Light Up Lockdown

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    Horaah! It’s Half-term Holiday. Gallery Oldham, Arts Development and Oldham Libraries have got lots in store for you this February. We’re getting ready for Light Up Lockdown, a week-long celebration of creativity and light scheduled to run from Saturday 13th February to Sunday 21st February 2021.

    There are no more zoom lessons, so let’s have some fun getting creative instead!

    We’re unable to host Illuminate this year but we’re determined to bring some love and light to a long, dark and tough winter which will mark the end to our #GoCosy campaign. Why not join in? Visit our Light Up Lockdown webpage there’s something for everyone:

    We’d love you to post pictures of your creations which we’ll add to the Oldham Lockdown Museum.

    FREE Craft Materials – Light Up Lockdown Bags

    These bags have now SOLD OUT. Thanks to everyone who has reserved one.

    Light Up Lockdown bags include craft supplies and instructions to make some of our half-term activities. Our packs are FREE but are limited and bookable via Eventbrite. Collection is available from all the district libraries currently operating click and collect.

    Light Up Lockdown bags include the following :

    • Poster paints
    • Paint brush
    • Masking tape
    • Glue
    • Card
    • Split pins
    • Coloured tissue paper
    • Origami paper
    • Blue tack
    • Activity instructions
    • Story book

    We’re able to offer 300 bags via Oldham libraries. Click the library of your choice and book your bag through Eventbrite (opens in separate tab):

    • Oldham  Open Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm
    • Lees  Open Mon – Fri 10am – 2pm and Sat 10am -1pm
    • Delph  Open for Click and Collect only Tues and Thurs 2 – 5pm and Sat 10am -1pm
    • Failsworth Mon – Fri 10am–2pm and Sat 10am–1pm
    • Crompton Mon – Fri 10am–2pm and Sat 10am–1pm

    Please note that Light Up Lockdown bags will only be ready for collection from Monday 8 February.