A guided tour through Umbala; a truly collective art project
It was a humid day at Tierra Mitica in the high jungles of Peru and Bonnie and I were surrounded with new and old friends all eagerly waiting to explore Umbala. We had been following the progress photos over the last six months but we were blown away with what was in front of our eyes. A massive rainbow coloured structure shaped like a caterpillar with walkways, slides, sculptures and more...
What the heck is Umbala you ask? Umbala is a massive interactive playground designed to be played like a board game - awesome right! It was designed and created by Tierra Mitica and their goal is to build these around city plazas and city squares worldwide. The idea behind Umbala is that it brings together children, parents and grandparents by allowing them all to play together. At the moment, if a parent or grandparent takes the kids to the park, the children play together but what do the parents typically do, maybe they sit on the bench and read the paper or maybe they send some emails on their phone or chat to another parent on the bench. Umbala is easy enough for a 5-year-old to play and invites all ages, sizes, genders and everyone to join in and creates an opportunity for parents and children to spend quality time together. A cool thing about Umbala is that the actions during the game determine your outcomes and therefore it may take you 3 hours to complete a game or it might take you 3 weeks!
Umbala was created by using steel rebar and wire mesh to make a structure. This structure was then covered in cement for a quick, strong and inexpensive method of construction. Get this... Umbala was created from flat ground to finished (minus the paint) within 5 months!!! crazy huh. For one of those months, they also invited anyone to come and stay for free and help sculpt Umbala. I remember seeing the prototype model of Umbala in January 2019 and now we were walking through the real thing only one year later in January 2020. Check out the model below.
After having a tour through Umbala things had only just begun because Bonnie and I along with all of our friends were about to spend the next 5 days painting all of the sculptures and internal art! Check out the progress pictures and watch the video below to experience a full tour through Umbala! Love from Todd and Bonnie.