Tate Kids


Sandra Blow, Space and Matter, 1959

Often the way we see an artwork is affected by the environment we are in. When this painting is on display at Tate St Ives in Cornwall (which overlooks Porthmeor Beach) it is often likened to a wave in a stormy sea crashing against the base of a ragged cliff. The artist, Sandra Blow, has created an amazing texture on the surface by using sawdust and charcoal and then painting over the top of it. The title doesn’t really tell us much about how we should look at this painting so our imagination needs to take over!

Can you imagine being in this wintry storm? It looks cold and dangerous. Perhaps you’re a fisherman trying to reach the port, or a lighthouse keeper watching out for danger. You could even be a sea creature waiting for an unsuspecting ship to pass by. See if you can use some descriptive words to paint a picture, just like Sandra has done.

18 stories about “Sandra Blow, Space and Matter, 1959”

  1. Lily Fry, age 11, from England

    “Come with me”whispered charlie”I have somthing to show you.” I wiped some sleep out my eyes and slipped out of bed. I changed from my night dress into my jeans and t-shirt. Cautiously we crept out the house and down to the beach. We scrambled up the rocks as we had done so many times before. We reached our destanation and stood on top of the cliff,our faces bathed in moon light. A huge wave smashed against the cliff,spraying our faces. I gripped charlies hand in fear as a rush of excitment flooded through me. “It’s beutifull” I murmered. So there we stood,hand in hand.staring into the distance till late the next morning.

  2. Ruben, age 8, from UK

    iitt wwaass wwiinnddyy and stormy & the wwiinndd was howling as the waves my little boat high in the air .

  3. RUBEN, age 8, from ENGLAND


  4. katie haines, age 11, from england

    sandra blow was doing her most famous painting that she thought was going to make her very famous but then disaster struck and she ended spilling her pot of water ALL over her painting and then forgot all about it and handed it in. then when she got home and when she was watching it she saw her peice of art work on tv and ended up very famous.

  5. Claire, age 12, from London

    Outside the sky is like ice.

    The wind is like icicles.

    The sea is angry.

    I am warm and happy inside my house.

  6. katherine & katie, age 8, from England


    3 days ago, early in the afternoon, a rocket took off, heading for space.Scientists say it was hit by somthing on the way. Many think that the crew are alive, but others say they are dead.Members of the U.S.A space station have journied out into space to find the space craft, but none of them have returned .Thats the end of today’s news.

  7. Daniel Gallimore, age 21, from England

    To me, it looks like an image of a dog in the painting! Barking! Maybe at a door?

  8. J, age 0, from F

    One day, there was a man. His name was Jeddidiah. He loved waves. Hi Jed. Can you say ‘hi’? “Seven!” ‘No silly!’ “Oompa Loomppa!” ‘Charlie Brown?’ “Charlieeeeee!”

  9. You, age 8, from duduo

    The giant fly got smashed.
    Colors: black,seven,:], babe ruth, bnlack

  10. You crank dat, age 92, from Jeee

    It looks like my mom. when shes mad. Hidng under a rock. Maybe. LOL. I wanna eat some shrimp. Bye. (Joe MAc has logged out)

  11. You crank dat, age 127, from I atted

    terrible. oh so terrible. like if someone died. see the body? near the wave. see the dog god? near the wave. evaw eht raen? Sea? Must be a turquoise horse.

  12. monkey, age 11, from canada

    there once was a nice man that new of a place hi up in the brilan mountains glamors glaciers (ice caps). in summer when the snow melts and a water fall forms and animals come out and great.smoth rocks from time from water driping time after time

  13. Juan, age 13, from Mexico

    The lonely fox walked into the snowy woods and settled down for the night.

    Wind howled around him, and the trees shrieked above him. But the the lonely fox was not frightened of the weather.

    He lit a small fire and began playing a game of solitaire.

  14. Zoe, age 13, from England

    I was sailing on my ship with my crew working hard on the deks.. I had been sailing all my life and it was all I knew.
    We were heading for Antartica so we had to work hard and pull together to get there on time before the Winter. We were on schedule until that stormy night…
    It was dark and cold and everyone was feeling very melencholy, we were exhasted and didn’t want to think of the day ahead. We all missed our familys terribly..
    We were all just falling asleep when suddenly a massive wave crashed as a storm was forming. The whole crew jumped up in shock and started to panic..
    That night was one of the most memerable terrible nights of my life. I was the only survivor that night.. This is the last memory i have from the boat.

  15. ELIZABETH, age 9, from PITTBURGH

    THERE ONCE A LITTIE GIRL NAME Leah she was so pretty she love to swim one time she was at the beach and saw a littiedrowming she hope in the water with eaverthing on and got the littie girl and leah became a lifegaurd

  16. Brianna, age 12, from U.S.A

    They sound like this whoosh…. crash…. sssssshhhh exclaims rory as she tells her brother of the wonderous journey she been on. you have to come with me RIGHT NOW. she grabbed him by the hand and ran to the water fall we stopped at the very edge and stood looking at the beautiful sight as they were gazing atits beauty a wave crased spraying water all over them making rory and john soaking wet. they both started laughing pointing at each other laughing they laughed til they counldn’t breath, fallen on the floor and their sides hurt so much that they started crying. after awhile they stopped and jst layed there getting sprayed by water soon they fell asleep. ahhhhhhhhhhh… heeeellllp joooohhhnnnn heeelp rory scremed as she fell into the reacherous waters below. john quickly grabbed the rope beside him… wait how’d that get there, anyways… he threw it down but rory couoldn’t reach it … wait, again how come shes still falling. “ahhhhhhhh. . .oh my gosh had the scariest dream.”

  17. Lukr Penswick, age 11, from UK

    Once there were two particles of giant ice just floating around in the ocean. There odds of hitting each other were 1 in a 10000000!!! The water was very very calm, in fact it didn’t move at all. Then one day they hit out of all the odds of that happening and boom!!! They created a huge tidal wave bigger than the Empire State Building, therefore making the water uncalm and rough!!! Then a mystical dragon was created out of the water called the Water Dragon. Instead of breathing fire it breathed ice creating all icebergs. It created all fish too. If a boat came along and caught loads of fish it would make a storm. When over a 10000000 fish were caught it makes a tidal wave up to 50 feet high to the country that caught the most fish. It does this because it is mad with fury!!!

  18. Ed Flambogifatilas, age 2, from Romainia

    Health and Safety

    Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, a one eyed thing LIVED. His name was Flambogifatilas and his nickname was Flemmy. His favourite thing in the far, far away galaxy was eating cheese strings (100% cheese). One day he met a ghastly person called Homordes and he was in fact a hurricane made of sand paper. The next day Flemmy met a ham monster when he was on his way to Homor’s (Homordes). The ham monster was actually 90% chicken, 5% added sugar and 5% fat. He was on his way to monkey opposite of heaven. He was in a ripped taxi (caught in a hurricane) being driven by a Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtle with rabies. He was frothy at the mouth and eating Homordes!!! ‘You creeeeeeeepy CESOREDCENSOREDCENSOREDSORED! How are you? I ‘avn’t seen ya for aliens years. Whats your name?’
    ‘ I’m Gorgaloflaf, Counciller of the year 500294357193BC. AKA The birth of the earth.He he, I’m a poet, and I didn’t even know it! Oh, and fLEMMY, I am your father!!!(copyright 19999999999999999994BC) Who are you?’
    DAD, I’m laying an egg.