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Blackgates Primary Academy working with Emily Binks on a Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 workshop. Photography Nick Singleton

Engagement project: Blackgates Primary School & Emily Binks

We have been working with five schools in Leeds and Wakefield on artist-led projects, with school and gallery visits and sculptures from our renowned art collections going into classrooms.

This project saw Leeds Art Gallery collaborating with Blackgates Primary Academy staff and artist Emily Binks to explore the processes of sculpture making with 60 Year Four pupils. Undertaking a series of creative experiments with everyday objects, the children immersed themselves in an experience of materials and making.

Blackgates Primary Academy visit Leeds Art Gallery as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography Nick Singleton

Blackgates Primary Academy visit Leeds Art Gallery as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography by Nick Singleton

Barry Flanagan, The Cricketer, 1989 spends the day at Blackgates Primary Academy for Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography by Nick Singleton

Barry Flanagan, The Cricketer, 1989 spends the day at Blackgates Primary Academy for Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019. Photography by Nick Singleton

Highlights included when 300 pupils spent an extraordinary day of thinking and making in response to a sculpture from Leeds’ collection. The Cricketer by Barry Flanagan, 1989, was installed in the school hall, supported by ArtUK.

The project invested in the teachers’ professional development with visits to Leeds Art Gallery. The wider school community also took part in half term holiday workshops. Finally, groups of mixed aged pupils visited each of the Yorkshire Sculpture International galleries, meeting new artists and getting up close to artworks.

The project concluded as the festival closed in late September 2019 when Emily Binks installed her own response to the children’s 3D experiments. Emily Binks said of her experience with the pupils, ‘There has been a shift in confidence from worrying about doing something wrong to giving it a go anyway, by the end of the experiments, they were excited about the fact that they had tried things. Tried became a positive rather than a negative word’.

About Emily Binks

Our engagement programme

Yorkshire Sculpture International 2019 had an extensive engagement programme, working with schools, universities, communities and artists.

We explored sculpture with people of all ages, connecting them with the materials and processes used in making sculpture today and showing how sculpture can be found all around us.

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