Transient art is, as the name suggests, a process in which the images, patterns, and sculptures children create don’t last beyond the end of their play session. Drawing in the sand at the beach is a transient art activity, as is drawing in chalk on the patio or making a face with pebbles.
Loose parts in particular play an important role in transient art. Using gemstones and coloured beads, leaves and sticks, pebbles and shells – anything – children can create images both figurative and abstract. They can arrange seasonal pictures, make patterns with colour palettes, sort shapes into groups and make visual stories. The possibilities really are endless.
Much like process art, the point of transient art is less to do with creating a masterpiece as it is exploring colour, shape, perspective and aesthetics. Fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination are developed in this process, and early mathematical concepts of grouping and counting. Knowing that their creation is not meant to last forever can also give children the confidence to experiment and push creative boundaries that they might not otherwise feel able to.