Nick Cave’s Soundsuits: Wearable Art You Can Listen To, Too
These amazing suits sound as good as they look
We were blown away when we first caught a glimpse of Chicago artist Nick Cave‘s (no, not that one) jaw-dropping Soundsuits. Crafted from a collection of items scavenged from flea markets, garage sales and second-hand stores, each suit is an complex blend of hyperbolic shapes and intensely intricate details and notion.
But the coolest part? These living sculptures don’t just dazzle the eyes—they also hit the eardrums. Massive amounts of buttons, sequins and fun fur make for a symphony of swishes, clicks and clanks when the costumes are worn. Each costume’s signature sounds bring a new facet of these wonderful creature’s personalities to the surface.
Not only are the suits mesmerizing for adults, they’re also perfect for sharing with your family. Kids will naturally be drawn to the monster-esque shapes, the bright colours and just the crazy fun of it all. Check out the video below with your kids, and then take the project home with our fun activity for making your own sound “suit” at home.
How to Make a Soundsuit with your Kids
- An item to make into a soundsuit (like a T-shirt, pants, mittens, long-sleeved shirt or even a pair of shoes that can be sacrificed for the sake of art)
- Materials that will make sound (bells, bottle caps, plastic bags, yarn with beads attached, crinkly paper or anything you can think of!)
- More material to dress up your costume like fabric paint, sequins, sparkles, patches or yarn (you might be surprise how these end up making noise too!)
- Needle and thread and glue gun
1. Let your kids pick an article of clothing they want to make into a sound suit.
2. Have them pick one item at a time to fasten to the piece of clothing. Get them to think about how the item will make sound, and what kind of sound they think it will make.
3. Once they’re done one type of embellishment, have them try out the suit. Does it need more of that one thing? If so, go back and add some more.
4. Add more and more sound-making pieces. You might have to help with sewing and glue gunning if your mini-artiste is smaller.
5. Try on the suit! Shake it up. Wiggle it up. Have a soundsuit dance party with all sorts of different types of music. What kind of music does your suit sound best with? What move looks the coolest?
Photos via Vivelemani