It allows us to look beyond what is immediately perceivable. To see things in a new light. To see the potentiality of form. Sculpture asks us to see what would otherwise go unseen. It breaks away from the familiar and asks us to consider new ways of existing and interacting with our immediate surrounds. It brings a tangible element to ideas, to words, to relationships, and to life itself.
To me, sculpture is what connects us and art to the material world. Sculpture is the material world in and of itself. It can expand upon, alter, reshape, or question it. It can abstract our perception of it entirely. All art stems from a form of sculpture. An artist must explore space, materiality, and perception, in order to produce a work of art. Even when a work of art is not a sculpture, it becomes a sculpture through audience interaction. It becomes a sculpture once the artwork extends beyond its physical form. It exists within what we take away from our encounter with the artwork. What we recall from the experience. It asks us to consider what we leave behind when we walk away from an experience / an encounter.
Sculpture helped me overcome my art insecurities. Sculptural practice was my saviour in secondary school. It broadened my idea about what art making could be. It scared me at art school and pushed me too far out of my comfort zone. Or so I thought. I despised it for a while, so I lost hold of it. This year, I found it again. I love it again. It opened me up to art’s (and the world’s) possibilities. It takes perseverance and courage to be creative. We must keep asking the questions that we can’t find the answers to and never lose hold of that curiosity. Sculpture allows us to keep asking these questions, to bring form to them and to see them in a different light.
We can teach drawing through sculpture. Painting through sculpture. Printmaking through sculpture. Photography through sculpture. Sculpture through drawing. Sculpture through painting. Sculpture through printmaking. Sculpture through photography. Anything can become sculpture and sculpture can become anything.
I believe that we should teach sculpture alongside all disciplines, because students should learn how an artwork can transform upon entry into a new site. Anything can become sculpture, through existing in a space. Through considering how an artwork, 2D or 3D, exists within it’s immediate surrounds. Even something as simple as a placement on a wall, or which angle of an artifact we decide to reveal to an audience. We can only perceive what is immediately in front of us, but sculpture allows us to break free from these constraints. To keep looking. To see something from different angles, different perspectives, and in relation to it’s immediate context.
The ideas behind the workshop were ambiguous yet complex, and to take these concepts into the classroom would require a great deal of scaffolding and adaptions would need to be made so that it could be successfully implemented.
Sculpture as process? Using sculpture as a way to explore a concept, or to work through an idea, is lacking in schools. To be able to start with an idea, and think through making, is a worthwhile skill to teach students as they progress through art education.
I believe that it is important for students to understand the value of considering space when making art. Considering how their art works within a particular context; materially, architecturally, spatially, temporally, psychologically, sensorially, socially, politically, institutionally.
Workshop 1 - Responding to site, cite, sight: personal site as SPACE
‘CASTING’ YOURSELF IN A SPACE/SITE
If you could see your personal space, what would it look like? feel like? smell like? sound like? if others could?
What do you leave behind when you exit a site or situation?
Working in reference to…
Working and responding to…
Working from a departure or a continuation of…
Working and responding to a space/site…
residue. remnants, register, positive/negative space
This workshop explored the idea of personal space through sculpture and spatial practice. It asked participants to imagine what their personal space would like like if they could see it.
Workshop 2 - Responding to site, cite, sight: Framing the city in card and wire
C+AARP Inter-generational art making workshop: Inside / Outside
Working collaboratively with children, as artists, with limited materials. Imagination was key. We drew, we discussed, we gathered materials, we made, we created, we discussed again, we kept making, we stepped back, we discussed again, we reflected.
Making alongside students. Removing the role of the ‘teacher’. Accessing the imaginative worlds of these children. Allowing them to lead the creative process. It forced me to be open to new ideas. We began making without necessarily knowing where we would end up. We thought through making.
Workshop 3 - Responding to site, cite, sight: relational and participatory sites
Participatory art. The art is activated by its audience.
Art as a tool to explore the relationships between things and one another.
Art as a tool to share stories. Food as a prompt for discussion and storytelling.
I think it is evident in my write up about sculpture on this page that I see the value in exploring relational aesthetics in the classroom.
Site-specific sculpture project - Placement…
Cement in ladder. Cement on pillows. Cement cast of doona. Positive and negative cement. Cement and cardboard.