Sculpture in the landscape or city has, traditionally, been monumental. Many
contemporary artists have become interested in the challenge to create intimate and
human-scale sculptural responses to particular sites.
Design and make a sculpture based on the themes ‘work’ or ‘play’ for an intimate
exterior location of your own choosing. The choice of site is important. The location,
function and purpose of the site, and its relationship to the formal characteristics and
materials of the sculpture, will be important in creating harmony and empathy.
Your studies should explore fully the theme and its relationship to the particular
identity of the chosen location. You should thoroughly document your thinking
throughout the project. Choice of materials and scale will be important considerations
in your final work.
You should provide evidence of the final work in its proposed location.
Research: sculpture parks, sculpture trails, Barbara Hepworth’s Garden, Ian Hamilton
Finlay, David Nash, Andy Goldsworthy and Randall-Page.
Make a study of the manner in which people lift and carry heavy objects in such activities as shopping, carrying suitcases, moving furniture, delivering goods or carrying planks. Do not work from posed figures but rather from real situations, recording through drawing the movement and effort required to carry out the task and the form the body adopts to succeed in it. Develop these studies into a sculptural work.
One of the major developments in the sculpture of the Twentieth Century has been in the appropriation of the ‘ready-made’ into the representation of the human form. Examples of artists using such approaches are Picasso, Keinholz, Fullard, and Arman. Using this approach, design an imaginative, sculptural work based on a human or animal form in which you incorporate the particular characteristics of your chosen objects, fragments or mechanical parts to heighten the identity of your subject.
I chose wall assemblages by Louise Nevelson, an important 20th century female artist, to introduce artistic ideas. After we talked about Nevelson’s life and looked at her work, the children became comfortable using such words as sculpture, relief, assemblage, depth, construction, unity, value, shadow, altarpiece, cubism and composition.
This activity involved gathering both large and small lightweight objects such as jar lids, bottle corks, used felt-tipped markers and caps, mesh baskets and film canisters. The objects were arranged in shallow cardboard boxes and painted black. The children tried to create an interesting surface in the bottom of the box, using low, medium and high levels. The children arranged and rearranged before using white glue. They learned to direct the eye as it traveled from one area to another and into and out of the box. Objects were stacked to vary the height. We painted outdoors for ventilation with flat black spray enamel. A brush and liquid acrylic were used for touch-ups. The students consulted with each other as they placed all of their finished pieces into a unified wall arrangement inspired by Nevelson.