Inspiration from Sculpture in Context, Botanic gardens

First Class, Warrenmount.

The children love to visit the Botanic Gardens during Sculpture in Context. The gardens themselves are such a rich resource particularly for pupils from a school that has no green spaces. The children show their joy by running across the grass, collecting plant debris from the ground and touching, smelling flowers and trees.

Finding sculptures all over the gardens add to the feeling of adventure and discovery. We look at the sculptures as a team of detectives, questioning, observing and sharing ideas about the artworks. Often a child who is not very vocal in class becomes animated and pours out lots of ideas.

The following week, back in the classroom the children look at a slide show of the sculpture from their visit and discuss the visit again.

They really enjoyed this sculpture. It is made out of recycled parts- cogs and wheels, and they could see a lot of different patterns from the way it is put together. Inside each cog is a little metal circular tin with dried plants, smaller cogs and drawings trapped in resin. We also looked at another sculpture, which had laminated plants as part of it.

They children took out the plants they had collected from the gardens. They made drawings of some these, and put them through the school laminator.

I found a translucent plastic in http://recreate.ie which I brought in. Then they trapped the plants between the plastic and added coloured tissue paper with more plants drawings on it.

They held it up to the window to see the light through the trapped drawings and plants.

We put these into transparent circles also collected from Recreate.

The following week the children made leaf drawings on layout paper with soft pencils. Again they held them up to the light noticing that the darker the pencil,  the less light that filtered through. These were over-lapped and framed with more circles from Recreate.

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