Working in partnership with the two local primary schools Trinity and Victoria, groups of pupils join us every week in the Outdoor Learning Studio. Throughout the school year we work with over 100 Primary 5s.
Schools Programme 2021-22
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop has been running a Schools Programme in partnership with our two closest primary schools, Trinity and Victoria since 2012. Up until 2020 each year every Primary 5 pupil from these schools would visit the Sculpture Workshop for an hour each week for a whole school year to make work in our shared learning studio with invited artists. The classes would come with their teachers, parents and volunteers to participate in practical workshops that encouraged imagination, collaboration, play and experimentation.
From Autumn 2021 we were delighted to welcome back P5 pupils from local primary schools Trinity and Victoria, for an adapted version of our schools programme. Each group visited six times throughout the school year and worked with various visiting artists.
All of the classes started by experimenting with ceramics and woodwork. They all made a small object from clay that would later be glazed and fired in the kiln. We also bought the wood workshop outside and spent the sessions getting to grips with woodwork tools, using hammers, saws, hand drills and vices to assemble sculptures using off-cuts of wood.
The first visiting artist of the year was Kate Temple, who worked with pupils from Trinity Primary. We painted with inks found in nature and used foraged plants, berries, coins and other found material to dye our own tote bags through the process of natural bundle dying.
Katy Wilson brought some high fashion inspiration with headdress making using recycled materials, and larger objects such as an old cable phone and a croc shoe. The session finished up with a walk down the red carpet and a photo shoot in the shipping container.
Max Wilson (AKA Play Radical) invited us to test out some communication devices made by children from an alien planet which was designed by Max as part of ESW’s ‘Artist’s Toolkit’ project. Working in groups, the class played around with these devices, attempting to work out how you might use them to communicate with each other. The group then used ropes, switches, paint pens, tape and other materials to create new methods of communicating, showing each other how to use them.
After the Christmas break artist Naomi Garriock hosted a day of collaborating, swapping, sharing and collective picture-making. We also experienced her Mind’s Eye Booth, where you can touch but not see or see but not touch. This booth was designed by Naomi as part of as part of ESW’s ‘Artist’s Toolkit’ project. The class had to pass on instructions to each other of what to do when you enter the booth, while outside the rest of the group made paintings with plasticine on tiles, connecting them together at the end to make one collaborative work.
Adam Benmakhlouf worked P5s from Victoria Primary school and led a workshop in ‘Tableaux Vivants,’ where the class responded to visual and written prompts to create ‘living pictures’, making silent, static scenes that tell a story through the use of gestures and props. Alaya Ang then lead the following session, making theatre style back-drops and experimenting with costume design. The class then performed impromptu plays at the end of the hour-long workshop.
Leading up to the end of term, each class returned to work with another artist for a final two sessions to make something that would be exhibited in the courtyard at our end of year celebration event.
Lorenzo Rangoni Robertson lead one workshop in mask making followed by collaborative totem pole building, all using recycled materials.
Keith Farquhar introduced collaging using old clothes to make collaborative artworks on recycled boards.
Victoria Smith shared some painting techniques that we used to make a giant collaborative sky painting. During the second session we made a variety of signs, thinking about what message we would like to give out to everyone in the courtyard.
Maria Wrang-Rasmussen guided the class to think about games and world making and together the class made a giant felt board game. They made players from recycled materials, added details with 3D pens, and made spinners and dice to play the game.
Our last P5 workshops of the school year were spent making costumes (and lots of noise!) with artist Rae-Yen Song. The group thought about how they could adapt their outfits to make sound while considering new ways to move in them. We finished up the last session with some disco dancing on the courtyard dance floor, to songs chosen by the class.
At the end of the term we were delighted to invite all 140 Primary 5s back to the ESW courtyard for a final celebration of all the incredible things they had done this year. We asked the P5s what they wanted; crisps, Oreos, gummy bears, music, and a making station which we set up inside to provide a space for creative breaks from all the dancing! The event showcased the work made by each group in the final artist-led workshops and the P5s invited their families, teachers and PSAs to join them in the courtyard. We have absolutely loved working, playing and making with every group and we are so amazed by the creativity and imagination each one of them bring.
Read a new text, ‘Facilitating Magic’ by Learning Assistant, Megan Rudden reflecting on her time as Learning Assistant.
Find out more about previous years of our schools programme please visit our blog here.
Up until the pandemic the schools programme presented one public exhibition each year, see below for previous exhibitions:
Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Schools Programme has been kindly supported by Creative Scotland, The Schiehallion Group, Foyle Foundation, The Robertson Trust, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, The Golsoncott Foundation, Edinburgh College of Art, Thistledown Trust, Trinity & Victoria Primary Schools and The Binks Trust.