City Gallery

Sculpture Competition

Year 7 and 8 students from Brooklyn School

It was very special for students to see gallery staff visit our school to look at their work. The unit was very successful, it enabled students to develop lots of new skills and learn about public art in Wellington.

—Mary Urquhart-Hay, Year 7 and 8 Teacher, Brooklyn School

Why did you visit City Gallery?
Our enquiry was about public sculpture in Wellington. We wanted students to understand how sculptures relate to their specific locations and what stories they tell, then design a sculpture for a site of their choice which communicates a story through its form.

What did you learn at the Gallery?
Students learnt about sculptures in and around Civic Square during a sculpture trail led by a Gallery Educator. They identified shapes and symbols using te reo Māori and learnt about Māori legends associated with Para Matchitt’s City to Sea sculptural bridge. They studied the abstract forms of Tanya Ashken’s Albatross sculpture and discussed its relationship to the waterfront site. In City Gallery’s Education Room students then created abstract biomorphic sculptures using wire, wood and clay.

How did you develop learning after the visit?
As a reflection on their visit, students wrote haiku about their sculptures. Then students worked to a design brief, photographed and researched a site in the city, designed a sculpture for the site and made a scale model of their design. Each student also wrote a reflection on how they had made their sculpture, why they chose the site for it and what meanings it was intended to communicate. The sculptures were exhibited at school and City Gallery Educators Claire and Helen visited to select the three best sculptures and present the winners with a certificate.