While on holiday last week we visited the sculpture park at Goodwood www.sculpture.org.uk It is a gorgeous site set in acres of wooded grounds with a marked trail for you to follow. I loved the huge variety of sculptures, immense blocks of granite and intricate shaped plastic and all points in between. Some of them really intrigued me while others didn’t really say anything at all.
Some of my personal favourites were the fun ideas of Stephen Gregory. The works on display seemed really lighthearted and made me smile just looking at them. The glass stairway by Danny Lane was beautiful in the way that the colours as you moved towards it and Jon Isherwood’s Passages and Circumstances in granite was amazingly tactile with the different surface textures as well as intriguing.
As always, you never really switch off as a teacher so as we were wandering around in the sunshine I was constantly thinking of how I can give my children access to this type of art. I took photos galore and all of the artists have websites as well as the site for the park itself but pictures don’t convey anything like the impact of the real thing. A trip out would be fantastic but I can’t see the idea finding favour as there are so many other pressures on curriculum time. I don’t think that an art visit would be high on many people’s priority list.
The other thing is trying to think of how I can give the children the experience of working as sculptors. We have clay as an obvious medium but that has lots of limitations. We have basic art materials such as art straws which can be used and I know that you can do a lot with wire and materials such as paper mache.
This is something that I really want to try and develop this year. Virtually all of my art work has been 2D for the past couple of years and I need to try and make sure that I widen the range of activities that I give my pupils. After all, I may have a gifted sculptor in my class but how will I know if I never give them the opportunity?