Category Index
Books About Big Art
  • A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
    A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
    by John Richardson
  • Sarah Lucas: A Catalog RaisonnĂ©
    Sarah Lucas: A Catalog Raisonné
    by Yilmaz Dziewior, Sarah Lucas
  • Grayson Perry
    Grayson Perry
    by Jacky Klein
  • Hendrik Kerstens (English and Dutch Edition)
    Hendrik Kerstens (English and Dutch Edition)
    by Pim Milo, Kathy Ryan
  • David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
    David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
    by Marco Livingstone, Margaret Drabble, Tim Barringer, Xavier Salomon, Stuart Comer, Martin Gayford
  • Vernon Ah Kee: Born in this Skin
    Vernon Ah Kee: Born in this Skin
    by Robert Leonard, Anthony Gardner, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Blair French, Glenn Barkley
  • Yayoi Kusama
    Yayoi Kusama
    by Midori Yamamura, Jo Applin, Yayoi Kusama
  • Henry Moore: From the Inside Out; Plasters, Carvings, Drawings
    Henry Moore: From the Inside Out; Plasters, Carvings, Drawings
    Prestel Publishing
  • Wall and Piece
    Wall and Piece
    by Banksy
  • Mark Rothko
    Mark Rothko
    by Mr. Jeffrey Weiss
  • Louise Bourgeois
    Louise Bourgeois
    by Robert Storr, Paulo Herkenhoff
  • Damien Hirst
    Damien Hirst
    by Ann Gallagher
Join the Big Picture

A blog that aims to spark thoughts and inspire by seeking out and sharing works of art

Historically, artists have always worked big, and nowadays those boundaries are being pushed to the limits.

Large-scale art, whether in the form of photos from the Hubble space telescope, sharks floating in tanks of formaldehyde, rooms full of dots, concrete sculptures cast from Victorian buildings or hand knitted blankets wrapped around trees, large-scale art is all around us. Join the Big Picture aims to spark thoughts and inspire by seeking out and sharing these works.

All content by Karla Thompson, an ex-pat Aussie living in East London. When not working on Join the Big Picture she is part of the backbone to the Leonhard Pfeifer brand.

Read an interview about Join the Big Picture here.


Karla Thompson
Creative Partner




Detail of Yarn Bombing UK

Entries in Yayoi Kusama (3)


Peer Education - Part 1

Exploring the ideas of how the unique historic, political and social context of a gallery influences individual galleries collections and educational direction, I was fortunate to be part of a gallery educator’s conference recently.

Focusing on four major European galleries, a group of amazing women spoke with passion and commitment about their successes with youth engagement for their individual gallery, in particular the concept of peer education.

Olga Ovejero Larsson, Head of Education at Reina Sofia Museum and her associate Kae Newcomb talked about their programme for young people aged 16-20 years called Equipo.

The programme nourishes a select group of up-to 15 young people from all over Madrid with information and education about the gallery’s in-house collection. The young people, once prepared, conduct guided tours for other young people during the evenings and weekends. Young people being inspired and then engaging with other young people. Nice.

One of the interesting projects discussed was Equipo’s interpretation of a gallery programme called Collection Stories: The feminist revolution (1968-1982). A free guided tour featuring female artists linked to the feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s, the Equipo group created discussions on ‘Space and Light’ in response to the exhibition. Focussing on 3 international female artists of different eras, origins and politics, (including the slightly!! eccentric Yayoi Kusama) a fourth young female Spanish artist was then added to the mix.

The Equipo group, lead by the fourth Spanish artist set about creating a workshop for young people that explored the concepts of art and feminism, and how these ideas could build bridges across nationalities and the generations.

No easy task.

Painting by Yayoi Kusama, GOMA, Queensland 2011.

Painting by Yayoi Kusama, GOMA, Queensland 2011.


Frieze London Roundup - Yayoi Kusama

One of Kusama’s many polka dot paintings. Frieze London, 2012.

Yayoi Kusama is Japans most interesting living artist; now in her 80’s she has not been out of Japan for the last 10 years.

Consistently dotty in her look and her artist expression, her working life has been a continual outpouring of creativity, which her last 185 painting are a testament to. Some of which were featured at her Tate Modern show this summer in London 2012 and in Australia in 2011.

My earliest memories of Kusama stem from a single photo in a book on New York artists from the 60’s. Featuring an array of new artists of the time there she was, immersed in a mirrored room full of spotty soft sculptures. I doubted if I had any idea of what her work meant, but I remember liking the work instantly, and loving the idea of this passionate, slightly odd Japanese woman.

Yayoi Kusama The Cosmos NHHN, 2010
Acrylic on canvas
194 x 194cm

Years on, I still love the idea of her, she is still slightly odd, I still enjoy her art and her unwavering dot obsession. I have nothing but admiration for her conviction and ability to create works of great scale at great volume.

Yayoi Kusama, Flowers That Bloom Tomorrow, 2011
Frieze London Sculpture Park exhibition in Regents Park.


Yayoi Kusama at the GOMA, Brisbane

Flowers that Bloom at Midnight © Yayoi Kusama at GOMA, Brisbane 2011.

Visiting Grandparents, friends and extended family this christmas in Brisbane, Australia, we were lucky enough to enjoy some time at the recently bulit GOMA (Queensland Art Gallery - Gallery of Modern Art) The gallery is wonderfully modern, and situated on the beautiful banks of the Brisbane river.

Whilst visiting, we had a peak at the crazy-wonderul work of Japanese American Artist Yayoi Kusama. What a lady. Working primarily on sculptural pieces and installation, Kusama became a fixture of the New York avant-garde in the 1960's.

Her Flowers that Bloom at Midnight sculptures are imposing in strong vibrant colours. Walking amongst them is like walking through a laminated childrens picture book, one that is covered in spots.

The "Look Now, See Forever" exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) running from 18 November 2011 – 11 March 2012, Australia.

Behind the installation Flowers that Bloom at Midnight 2010–11 were a selection of paintings approximaltey 1m x 1m from Yayoi Kusama's 2009–10 in ‘Look Now, See Forever’ series. Around 20 paintings hung side by side formed a colourful band of paintings framing the flowers.


From the Goma website: "Yayoi Kusama’s painterly output is vast, propelled by a compulsive relationship with the activity of painting itself. Painting is very much at the core of Kusama’s practice, with her work in other media invariably bearing the hallmarks of the medium. She paints daily, and this selection of paintings on canvas is drawn from a body of 100 works she produced as a challenge to herself over an 18-month period in 2009 and 2010 — a staggering production rate, even before the artist’s age and the intricacies of the pieces are taken into account."

Three of my favourite panels are below.

The highlight of the exhibition, for me, was the fantastic "Kusama's World of Dots Kids interactive Room" - which basically translates into "a big white room full of white furniture that you can stick dots onto". Fantastic! The installation, initially designed for children proved to be so popular that even if you didn't have kids you could still go in.

On entry we were each given a sheet of brightly coloured spotty stickers with the simply brief of sticking them where ever we wanted. Yay. Security was pretty tight to leave the interactive room, as all unused stickers had to be disposed of and all shoes had to be inspected to ensure no rouge sticker was on the sole of your shoe. Our three year old enjoyed it immensely and also enjoyed spotting all the "naughty" stickers that had escaped out of the installation room and appeared randomly on the floor.