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.
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’.
Yorkshire Sculpture International has an extensive engagement programme, spanning education, community collaborations and artist support.
We explore 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. We are currently working with a group of 25 artists across Yorkshire as part of our 2022 Sculpture Network.
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