Christmas Experience # 1: Love among the Ruins

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Comments (11)

bdeh on December 27, 2010

:-)) Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on December 27, 2010

Construction materials have often brought children, their parents and Christmas together - at least in a former generation LEGO did that, then befoe that it was Mecano! To see all this LEGO as part of an interactive exhibit at the Gallery of Modern Art, was a joy.

But I was also mindful of those who have suffered from earthquakes and Tsunamis recently - especially in Chile, Haiti, Samoa, Tonga and as a result of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. I trust that in every instance, survivors encountered love expressed by other survivors and by those who came to or gave for their assistance.

Just a few bricks, but it spoke quite powerfully to me.


theolfa on December 27, 2010

LOVEly title, Ian! And a very nice monochromatic composition. I have enjoyed playing with LEGO but I much prefer this colourless variety. I've enjoyed each one of your latest Christmas series Wishing you all the best in 2011! Theolfa

©IR Stehbens on December 27, 2010

Good evening/morning Theolfa. It is good to receive affirmation for artistic images from an artist!. I trust you enjoyed Christmas celebrations in spite of or because of the icy conditions. May 2011 be a wonderful year of fruitful fulfilment for you. Ian

theolfa on December 29, 2010

Hi, Ian! I'm enjoying a monochromatic winter as usual, and we had a wonderful Christmas with surrogate family, i.e. other immigrants originally from Britain. I'm also enjoying your Irish pics. Hope you have a great 2011! Theolfa

Hazel Coetzee on January 3, 2011

It is a very powerful message, this, Ian and I congratulate the creators on their amazing work and perspicacity.

I well remember the Meccano, Lego and Junior Engineer plastic-meccano days, which formed a sound basis, I think, for our two little boys' spatial & creative development.


With warmest wishes from


Ian Stehbens on January 4, 2011

Dear Hazel,

I appreciate your thoughts very much. It is special to note the responses a piece of art can evoke. The story here is that in view of the school holidays the children's section of the Gallery of Modern art is very busy and in the main hall of the gallery they have set up a very long table with many 1000's of monochromatic Lego pieces, and the visitors are invited to play. Most children and their parent or grandparent seem to sit and create one building. A friend, Jan, when she observed this decided to create something other than a building, hence LOVE was constructed.

I doubled back to photograph this, and this is the result. The title seemed obvious to me.

The gallery was full of interactive opportunities and it is therefore not surprising that it is a very, very popular gallery.

Warm regards,



Itallica II on January 23, 2011

One must open the image to appreciate the title.

Ian Stehbens on January 23, 2011

Welcome to my gallery, Marquee. Thanks for your reaction.


愛 Sylvietsak 女 on January 26, 2011

4 likes for LEGO as my children played a lot with them...but I don't like to think about ruins and disasters...there is so much pain in the world...Love ...let's become our religion no matter the nationality and help in any way we are able to...these who suffer from disasters any kind or from their soul...

Warm regards


Ian Stehbens on January 27, 2011

In your profile Sylvie you wrote about Love as your ultimate value. AGREED! Compassionate response to those who suffer is central to the wellbeing of all societies. So I am pleased that this image has resonated with your thoughts. And LEGO was a big part of our children's lives too - including a visit to Legoland, DK!

Thanks and best wishes,


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  • Uploaded on December 26, 2010
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    by Ian Stehbens