Talking Points: Introduction to Sculpture

A collection of imagery and sources designed to introduce children to different types of sculpture.

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We strongly recommend as part of good teaching practice that teachers watch all videos and visit all websites before sharing with a class. On occasion there may be elements of a video you would prefer not to show to your class and it is the teacher’s responsibility to ensure content is appropriate. Many thanks. 

ages 5-8
ages 9-11

What is Sculpture?

Interactive Cloud Sculpture by Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett

“Interactive Cloud Sculpture” made of 6000 lightbulbs by Canadian artists Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett

This sculpture is made of 6000 lightbulbs which can be switched on and off by the audience. Find out more about Interactive Cloud Sculpture here. 

Questions to Ask Children

Describe what you see. Think about the gallery space as well as the sculpture itself.

How would it feel to be in that space, interacting with the sculpture?

What do you think the artists are trying to say through the artwork?

Why do you think two sculptors collaborated on this piece?

How does it make you feel? What does it make you think? 

Floating Piers by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Floating Piers by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Italy, 2016

L'Arc De Triomphe Wrapped by Christo and Jeane-Claude

L’Arc De Triomphe Wrapped by Christo and Jeane-Claude, Paris, 1961

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are artists who have become known for wrapping large objects/buildings/environments. 

Christo started out wrapping objects like chairs and books, interested in how the wrapping changed the meaning. More recently the large projects, which can take years of planning, are often made just for the purpose of enabling us to look at the world in new ways. 

Christo says: “We make beautiful things, unbelievably useless, totally unnecessary.”

See more work by Christo, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude here. 

Questions to Ask Children

What have the artists done here?

How many people do you think were involved in making this artwork? What jobs did they have to do?

How long do you think this artwork will last? Do you think the artists minded making an artwork which won’t last forever?

How do you think the visitors feel? How would you feel if you were there? What would the yellow bouncy path make you want to do?

How do you think the people felt when they returned to the “normal” landscape around them? Would they have been changed by the artwork?

How do you think it looks from above?

What do you think the artists were trying to say through the artwork?

 

Dev Harlan 

“Parmenides I”, Dev Harlan, 2011

Parmenides I is a light sculpture exhibited at Christopher Henry Gallery, New York. 

www.devharlan.com/

Questions to Ask Children

What can you see in the video above?

Can you imagine how the artwork is made?

How does it make you feel?

How long do you have to look at the sculpture before it has an affect on you? If you saw a still image of the sculpture would you feel the same way? 

Food Sculptures by Nicole Dyer

Food Sculptures by Nicole Dyer

Nicole Dyer makes sculptures inspired by food. See more of their work here “Talking Points:Nicole Dyer“.

Questions to Ask Children

Describe what you see.

How do the sculptures make you feel? 

How do you think the artist made the sculptures?

Faith Bebbington

Sculptures by Faith Bebbington

Faith Bebbington is best known for her sustainable practise; her large sculptures utilise lots of waste materials, with her biggest sculpture to date re-using over 2500 deconstructed plastic milk bottles! 

See sculptures by Faith Bebbington and read more about her approach here. 

Questions to Ask Children

Describe what you see.

How do the sculptures make you feel? 

What do you think the artist is trying to say through her work?

What other recycled or waste materials could we use to make sculpture? 

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