What a fantastic week I have had! On Wednesday I started an art project in a local school as part of their health awareness week. Our mission - to create 8 sculptures influenced by the amazing work of Niki de Saint Phalle (as pictured above). Working with 11 classes from reception to year 6 pupils we planned, prepared and started making our sculptures. The aim of the week was for pupils to gain an understanding of how the body works, the food groups and to discuss healthy lifestyles. For our part we decided to make sculptures of various parts of the body, which include, two full figures, a heart, arms, legs, lungs, feet and head. The project started with pupils learning a little about of inspirational artist, looking at the colours, patterns and forms used in Niki De Saint Phalles' work.
Pupils had a go at drawing their own patterns and shapes that could be used to embellish their classes sculpture. It never ceases to amaze me how imaginative children can be and during this process they created a multitude or exciting lines, shapes and patterns in many different arrangements. I always try to make sure that the children are not introduced to images of artists work until they have had the opportunity to create their own images first. I find if I show pictures prior to this, you end up with a number of children reproducing the art work shown - and for me this does not inspire the creative thinking and problems solving skills I want to evoke from the children I work with.
In a small amount of time, with a few pupils chicken wire armatures were made of all the sculptures.
The children then had great fun getting creative and messy covering the armatures with newspaper, cello tape and mod roc.
The children loved exploring how to make a sculpture using materials that they do not always have access to in a school environment. As young artists the children completely embraced creating forms, making textured surfaces and learning about the making process.
Once the sculpture was completely covered in mod roc and left to set the children started to paint their designs onto their sculptures using acrylic paint. As you can see from the picture below they are starting to look amazing.
I am hoping the children involved in this project are learning new techniques in creating and making sculptures, gaining confidence in their own ability, learning to work as a team and realising the art has many cross curriculum links (although we are using maths, literacy, PSE - the pupils are so focused on making their sculptures they are not realising it - yet!)
So three days in, all eight sculptures are made and 3 have started to be embellished. Hopefully next Wednesday I will be posting pictures of all the final sculptures.