City Gallery

Making Sculptures Speak

Year 8 students from Te Aro School

It was lots of fun and I was constantly amazed at their creativity and awesome ideas! It was the wonderful City Gallery visit that really kicked it all off.
—Kristin Holmes, Teacher, Te Aro School.

Why did you visit City Gallery?
Our enquiry was an art and English unit about character development. We wanted students to develop language and art skills to create a character, write about them and record a monologue for them. Before our visit to City Gallery, we looked at the Teacher Resource Card for the Francis Upritchard: Jealous Saboteurs exhibition and did some of the suggested language and drama activities.

What did you learn at the Gallery?
The Gallery Educator engaged students in activities which helped them to look closely at Francis Upritchard’s sculptures and develop vocabulary to write a rich character profile in response to one of her figures. In the Education Studio, they then imagined their own character, and sculpted it using air drying clay, modelled over a wire and wood armature and clothed in found materials. They named their figures and described them using the voice of the character.

How did you develop the learning back at school?
Our class’s responses to the Francis Upritchard exhibition came together beautifully and resulted in a sculpture exhibition at school. To begin with, each child wrote a character profile to describe the character they created during the gallery workshop. Then students read passages from writing by authors David Mitchell, Hari Kunzru, and Ali Smith who have been inspired by Francis Upritchard’s work. After this, they each wrote a monologue for their character. They recorded it using a voice they imagined suited their character to make audio guides for their work. The last step was to write it down, as their character might have written it.