Get stuck into new sticky tape playground

The doors to the Ipswich Art Gallery will open on Monday, 2 December for children to explore tunnels, caves and slides inside the multi-level play space that is TapeScape.

More than 115,000 metres of packing tape has been wrapped around scaffolding to create the interactive, multi-sensory playground.

The unique sculpture looks like a giant funnel-web spider web with tunnels and slides heading off in all directions. 

US artist Eric Lennartson (pictured) said the unique sculpture would be twice as big as the previous iteration, which drew record crowds to the gallery in 2016.

Lennartson has a background in architecture, engineering and design.

“I first came up with the idea when I was a volunteer board member for a children’s museum in Minnesota,” Mr Lennartson said.

“I wanted to create an exhibit that would appeal to just about everyone, no matter what age you were.

“I saw a picture in an architect magazine of tape stretched between a decommissioned air hanger in Berlin and between marble columns in a bank in Venice.

“People were walking through them and I thought ‘I could build that’.

“I saw the opportunity to make something that would engage children’s curiosity.

“It’s making something extraordinary out of something ordinary.”

Since then Mr Lennartson’s TapeScape has really taken off with installations all around the world with each one unique designed to suit the space it’s going in.

“This is the 21st time I have done a version of TapeScape but this one here in Ipswich is one of the biggest,” Mr Lennartson said.

The playground is also a way to showcase a lot of STEM learning about tensile strength, structural engineering, shapes, curves, physics, chemistry and programming.

A team of gallery staff have built the large TapeScape as a centrepiece to the overall Construction Site Summer Fun which will take over the whole of the gallery over the school holidays.

There is hands-on fun planned for little architects and engineers of all ages.

Each area of the gallery will have a different installation designed to immerse visitors in a multi-sensory STEM environment.

Construction Site Building Blocks uses giant foam blocks to build a castle, skyscraper or whatever can be imagined.

Blue Blocks are a small scale build using Blue Block bricks, cogs and cylinders to create a unique invention.

The popular ball run is also back using tubes and recycled materials to send a ball rolling on its way.

The Ipswich Art Gallery at d’Arcy Doyle Place will be open daily from 10am until 5pm from Monday, 2 December.

The gallery will be closed from Christmas Day, 25 December 2019 until 1 January, 2020. It will reopen on Thursday, 2 January.

The exhibition will run until Sunday, 16 February 2020.

Adults are at children’s prices – $7 per person.

A family pass for $20 admits up to 4 people.

Children under two years are free.

Socks must be worn on TapeScape. You may bring your own or buy specially designed TapeScape socks at the gallery for $3 a pair which will be yours to keep.

Read also:

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Ipswich First

One Comment

  1. Any info about the waste management or recycling of this when it’s all done – That seems like a lot of tape the throw in the bin afterwards?!
    Seems a bit at odds with promoting sustainability and good recycling practices in the community.

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