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Church of England Academy

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Sculpture garden (Tuesday)

Welcome to our own

All Saints' Sculpture Garden!


Each Tuesday, a new sculpture will appear.




Here is a very familiar object, made with unusual materials!!

The Brick Train     by David Mach


What materials has the artist used to create this sculpture?  


This work is located in Darlington to celebrate the town's railway history.  It is modelled after the steam locomotive Mallard (see image below), which set a speed record of 126 miles per hour in 1938.  It is made of 185,000 bricks,  is 7 metres high and 29 metres long, covering an area of 600 square metres. It is hollow inside and special bricks provide gaps that enable bats to fly inside and roost.


Can you see the billowing smoke?  Can you feel the movement of the train engine?  The artist has created a static (non-moving) sculpture that appears to be travelling very quickly towards us!!


Try making a similar sculpture (smaller scale, of course) with Lego bricks.  How can you show the movement of the train engine, with hard plastic bricks?  It's harder than you think!!


Look at yesterday's painting in the Painting Gallery (see below).  How did Turner create the illusion of movement with colour and brush strokes?  Look at photographs of trains in motion - what clues do you have in the photo that tell you that the train is moving?


Today we can see two sculptures by the artist Victor Vaserely.  

Are they really 3-dimensional? 

Or do they just look 3-dimensional?  


Have a close look!  (click on each image to make it bigger)



Gestalt-RJ,              Untitled             and             Sign-Sculpture      

by Victor Vaserely





Look! A dancing elephant! Or is it a man with an elephant's head? Look closely! How many arms does he have?

Dancing Ganesha   

(in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art)

These are images of the Hindu god,  Ganesha.  He is one of the most special gods in the Hindu religion.  Ganesha is friendly, fond of sweets and, as you can see, plump (or fat!).  He is believed to bring success, wisdom and good luck.  People ask for Ganesha's blessing whenever they are making important decisions.


Look carefully at the two images above.  What is the same about both scuptures?  What is different?  Look for other images of Ganesha on Google images.  See how some people decorate Ganesha with bright colours and interesting backgrounds:  sometimes he is sitting on a flower, other times he is under a tree or on a throne.  


When festivals are held in honour of Ganesha, many Indian children make little figures of the holy elephant out of clay.  Try making a clay or playdough Ganesha of your own.  Or you could choose another animal, say your cat or dog, that is dancing.  (For inspiration, see our painting of the dancing Yellow Cow in our Picture Gallery this week).  

Here is a really interesting poppy-filled sculpture in our garden!!

In 2014, a 'sculpture' appeared at the Tower of London.  It consisted of 888,246 poppies made of ceramic, to commemorate the numbers of British lives lost during the First World War (1914-1918).  Each poppy was made at the artist's studio and finished at a ceramic factory.     For more information and photos, visit Historic Royal Palaces website.  


It must be so difficult to show the paper-thin bright-red petals of a real poppy using clay.   Give yourself the challenge of creating a poppy sculpture with clay, play dough, mud, plasticine.  You could also use junk modelling materials (e.g. cardboard, plastic) to create a flower of your own imagination.  There are plenty of poppy ideas online to stimulate your imagination (e.g. Pinterest, Baker Ross, Laughing Kids Learn).  


This time of year is the best time to spot poppies.  Look for poppies with different colour petals.  Touch the petals carefully - they are like tissue paper, delicate and fragile.  The black pod in the middle will contain the tiny poppy seeds later in the summer. 


Each poppy lasts only a day or two when it flowers, so enjoy them while they are with you.  Take photos, draw them with their stem and leaves, try to press a small poppy between newspaper pages. 


Here's a pink poppy I found on my walk yesterday:








Alexander Calder             Mobiles and Stabiles

These sculptures are called mobiles Alexander Calder created these mobiles, first by cutting shapes out of thin sheet metal, then attaching them to a skeleton of metal wires.  He then hung the entire structure from the ceiling.  The mobiles move gently in the room, as the air moves around them.  


After many years of creating mobiles, Calder moved to making 'stabiles': big, curving metal bodies that rest on thin legs and still not fall over.  What do these 'stabiles' look like to you?


Now here's your challenge:


Create your own mobile or stabile, using junk materials from the recycling bin.  Test the strength and stability of your sculpture and take a photo when it is complete.  We would love to see your final results!!




Here are some interesting and unusual sculptures in the garden!!

We think of chairs as useful items, not artistic items.  But there is a lot of care and attention to the design of chairs and you'll be surprised how many different shapes and sizes of chairs there are (google chair design images for many more images of chairs!).


  • Look carefully at the chairs in your house.  Think about the similarities and differences between them.  What are they made of?  How are they decorated?  Do you have any special chairs in the house that mean something extra special to you (e.g. a comfy chair where you always read, a dining room chair where you always eat your meals).


  • Take photos of chairs in your house and sort the images into categories (e.g. materials used, function in the house, the ones you like the most,.....).


  • Choose one chair and sketch it, looking carefully at the various parts (back, seat, legs) and drawing them in correct proportion with one another. 


  • Look up the various functions of chairs around the world and write a short paragraph about how people use chairs in different ways.  


  • Find different expressions involving the word 'chair'.  Find out the origins of these expressions and draw some sketches, with the expression, to help you remember what they mean.   

Mbala mask (unknown artist)

Mbala mask Unknown artist

This is an example of a traditional mask used in important celebrations in villages across south-western Africa. 


What animals can you see in this mask?  What materials have been used to make this mask? 


Search Google for more examples of Mbala masks.   Widen your search to include traditional African masks.


Look for any similarities and differences between masks.  Think of facial expressions, animal/human focus, materials used, funny/scary expressions.  Choose one or two masks that you particularly like and find out more about them:  where they were created, what were they used for, who made them, etc.


Draw/sketch/paint a favourite mask.  Create a 3D mask, with card, junk materials, or papier mache.  Decorate your mask with vivid colours and unusual materials. 


Have fun!  Send us a photo of your final mask or drawing.


Daibutsu, or 'Giant Buddha' at Kamakura



This giant sculpture of the Buddha is one of many such sculptures all over the Far East. 


  • Where is this particular sculpture?  What is the link between today's sculpture and yesterday's painting?


  • How old is it?  How tall is it?  How much does it weighHow was it constructed?


  • Look at other giant sculptures of the Buddha around the world (google: 'giant Buddha images').  How are they similar/different


  • Enlarge your google search to 'Buddha images'  Now you can see many more and varied images of the Buddha.  How are these different/similar?


Suggested ideas to follow up:


  • Sketch/draw/paint/sculpt one of the Buddha images you have particularly liked.  Why have you chosen it? 
  • Find out more about the Buddha himself.  Who was he?  Why is he so important to many people across the world? Name and describe some of the most important ideas for people who follow the Buddha's teachings.
  • Send us your follow-up work and we'll post it here, in our Sculpture Gallery!  Have fun!


The Firebird by Jean Tinguely/Niki de Saint Phalle

The Firebird by Jean Tinguely/Niki de Saint Phalle

(image taken by Oscar Carvajal)

Look out for a musical link to this sculpture in Friday's Music Box!!!