Schools have now broken up for the long summer holiday, offering us the opportunity to welcome many other groups to join us for interactive tours around the New Art Centre during August. We love to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for the works on display and it’s always a thrill to deepen our understanding by looking through others’ eyes. Over the last few weeks we have explored, discussed and discovered new connections with people from many disciplines including philosophers, curators, geologists and sailors.
Philosophy and Art
Supporting young people into careers in the arts is an important strand of our work. Each summer we host work experience placements for students from schools and universities. Philosophy and Theology undergraduate Emma Aubrey joined us from Bristol University. Emma started by researching a selection of artworks in the Park, taking over our @i.love.sculpture Instagram account for a week to post fascinating insights into links between Philosophy and Art, such as this one based on ‘Monolith (Optic)’ by Conrad Shawcross:
‘For the second day of my Instagram takeover, I am looking at the connection between art and the philosophical problem of perception. When walking around the @new_art_centre, I was struck by the optical illusion of Conrad Shawcross’s ‘Monolith (Optic)’. From afar, the rectangular shape appears almost cylindrical and solid. However, when stood in front of the structure, you can see that it is rectangular and transparent. This immediately reminded me of the problem of perception. This philosophical problem addresses issues such as ‘How can we trust our senses?’ and ‘How do we know what we perceive is true?’. The optical confusion of ‘Monolith (Optic)’ particularly reminded me of the argument from illusion. This argument states that if our senses can perceive illusions, then we can call into question all that we perceive. Perhaps this suggests that we should constantly challenge our own perspective of art and consequently, our opinions of it.’
Magical Mystery Tour Family Workshop
Families with children from 5 to 15 years of age joined us for a detective hunt through the Sculpture Park. Using handmade sketchbooks containing clues, the families, guided by our Education Team, looked closely at five sculptures, exploring meaning, materiality and form to uncover the name of the final mystery sculpture. Everyone then applied ideas and methods discussed on the mystery tour to create their own mixed media, mystery maquettes. Did you know that the word ‘maquette’ means ‘small make’? Maquettes are the small, preliminary versions that sculptors make before creating the final piece. Family Workshops take place during each school holiday, offering fun, creativity and lively discussion between age groups and generations. Our next Family Workshop, Order and Chaos, is on Tuesday 30 October. To book please contact: email@example.com.
ARTiculation Partners’ Days
The days were designed to thank existing ARTiculation Partners and welcome new ones. We combined tours of host museums and galleries with discussions centred around how to engage schools in the initiative, how to address challenges and how to weave ARTiculation into existing programmes.
South Wilts Mencap Fun Days
The two-day event involved the group exploring sculptures in a multi-sensory and interactive way, sharing opinions and ideas and making artworks of their own inspired by what they had seen during their exploration of the Park. The event culminated in wonderful performance pieces based around individual responses to the sculptures, including the ‘Golden Bees Rap’, inspired by Bill Woodrow’s sculpture ‘Celloswarm’.
Every child from Winterslow Primary School visited us over three days to research and explore ideas around place, emotion and community. The whole education team were involved in taking the children around the Park in small groups and exploring how the artworks addressed, questioned and extended their theme through concepts, materiality and storytelling. Back at school a whole school artwork was created in response to the visits.
We also welcomed New Horizons and The Meadows from Salisbury, groups for adults with learning disabilities, who developed ideas from their tour of the Sculpture Park into paintings and mixed media artworks for our Multi-Sensory Art Project. Being in the Park and exploring the sculptures is indeed a multi-sensory experience and through our Multi-Sensory Art Project, we collaborate with artist Rebecca Churchill to create a mobile, interactive and immersive installation in a dome that takes some of the magic of Roche Court out to children and young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience it. Children with profound and multiple learning difficulties from two schools were also involved in the installation this year whilst it was in situ at Larkrise School in Trowbridge. The dome will be travelling to other mainstream and special schools next academic year. Get in touch if you would like to be involved.
‘The visit certainly did build all students’ confidence through viewing sculptures ‘in the flesh’. This experience equipped them with the necessary skills and vocabulary, for all students to describe the materials, methods and ideas related to the artworks. This came through careful planning from Roche Court leaders, tailoring the day to suit our specific needs as a school, for which I cannot comment upon more highly.’ – Teacher feedback July 2018
July has been all about the ARTiculation Alumni, with previous Prize participants undertaking work experience placements at our partner museums and galleries, including Leighton House Museum, the National Gallery and the Holburne Museum amongst others.
Our first ever ARTiculation Alumni Gallery Trail welcomed 15 previous participants for a walking tour around a collection of artist studios, contemporary galleries and exhibition spaces around Hoxton and Old Street. Parasol Unit Foundation generously hosted us in their beautiful urban garden where the group discussed art, education, access and inspiration!
We are delighted that the Discover ARTiculation Challenge, for 14 – 16 year olds, welcomed 8 Finalists on 11 July at the University of Leeds. Nicky Bird, Reader in Contemporary Photographic Practice, Glasgow School of Art, had the tough task of adjudicating, and awarded prizes to Sophia Ispahani from Wycombe Abbey School for her presentation on Jan Ader, I’m Too Sad to Tell You, 1971 and to Zach Taylor from Abbey Grange Academy for his presentation on Edward Hopper, New York Movie, 1929.
Flaming June has lived up to its name in 2018, and we have enjoyed a whirlwind of visits and events, welcoming a wide range of schools, teachers and specialist groups to Roche Court. June has also been a busy month for the ARTiculation team, who have been out on the road with some of our fabulous alumni. National events included ARTiculation alumni in conversation with Ann Gilmore at the Royal Academy.
Playful, multi-sensory interactions stimulated new connections and fascinating conversations when a group of students from the Beehive at Rivermead School joined us for an interactive tour of the Sculpture Park. This inquisitive group of students from across year groups enthusiastically shared their ideas and responses to a selection of sculptures and thoroughly enjoyed this creative outdoor experience. They built on this further through practical making and drawing activities in our education space.
‘Thank you so much for having us on Monday. The children learnt so much and it has inspired our art work this week. We are busy making our own large scale sculptures and have a lovely display of photos from the day.’ Teacher, Rivermead School
The Beehive is a learning environment for children with complex needs, based at the school.
Working with Teachers is a vital part of what we do at Roche Court and this month we ran two continuing professional development (CPD) days for teachers from across phases inspired and informed by the artists exhibiting at the New Art Centre.
‘So far all workshops we have attended have been wonderful and provided great lesson inspiration’ Feedback from a teacher who attended our ‘3Cs of Sculpture’ workshop, June 2018
Artist Kate Blee also led one of the days. Kate Blee is primarily known for her work in cloth and this month her exhibition and installation ‘A Gathering’ opened in the Artist’s House. Kate’s sustained questioning of materiality and colour has developed into a multidisciplinary exploration of often overlooked everyday domestic activities. Through a discussion in the exhibition and a practical ‘Cloth, Paper, Clay’ workshop, Kate shared her process led practice and offered teachers alternative methods and approaches to creative ideas and to working responsively with materials, without a fixed outcome in mind.
Art GCSE research
A group of Year 10 students from Henry Beaufort School visited us to research natural forms in sculpture as the starting point for their GCSE Art projects. Together we explored patterns in nature, the Fibonacci sequence, repetition, hybrid forms, narrative and chaos and order.
Here you can see some of the students investigating Bill Woodrow’s ‘Celloswarm’ which provoked lively debate about how a sculpture can engage senses beyond sight and touch, evoking the sensation of natural sounds and movement.
‘Something 3000 years old can look more modern than something made yesterday.’ – William Turnbull
We are delighted that hundreds of young people, teachers and members of specialist groups have participated in our interactive tours, workshops and events this month.
During ORIGINS, a workshop in collaboration with Salisbury Museum, over fifty year 8 pupils visited Roche Court to explore connections between ancient artefacts and contemporary sculpture. Katy England, Education officer at Salisbury Museum, introduced the students to human use of natural materials as tools and how this evolved through time. There was an opportunity for all to handle ancient artefacts from the museum collection, including a Blue Stone used in the making of Stone Henge and very early examples of flint cutting tools. Further exploration of contemporary and modern sculpture in the Sculpture Park with our Education team sparked fantastic discussion around connections between ancient and modern, particularly the materiality, making and conceptual aspects of the work of David Nash, Richard Long, Conrad Shawcross and William Turnbull.
‘We felt incredibly proud of our first and third year students for all they have achieved on this project. The partnership this year felt incredibly strong and that is down to the enthusiasm and energy that you and Beth both brought to the project – thank you so much for your generosity.’
– Jenna Hubbard, Arts University Bournemouth Dance lecturer
A series of contemporary dance performances at Pavilion Dance South West was the culmination of an interdisciplinary project with lecturers and undergraduates from Arts University Bournemouth and students from Bournemouth and Poole College and Bourne Academy, creating and performing new dance works inspired by research visits to the New Art Centre. We are looking forward to working together on this project again next year, experiencing the artworks here through another creative discipline.
Schwellenangst: Looking, Thinking and Speaking in Berlin
The German word Schwellenangst roughly translates as ‘fear of crossing the threshold’ and has been used to describe the difficulty of getting young people through the door into art exhibitions, museums and theatres. There are many children and young people who, for social, physical, psychological or economic reasons, may never experience the life changing enchantment of the arts simply because they were never given the opportunity or confidence to believe that such places and experiences were available to them. Roche Court Educational Trust was invited by the British Council to share examples of the education programmes that we run with German gallery and museum professionals at MUSEUMS REACH OUT! at the Berlinische Gallery, Berlin. Head of Education, Julieann Worrall Hood, explained how our simple mantra of Looking, Thinking and Speaking underpins all that we do here at Roche Court, and nationally and internationally through ARTiculation. Those present were keen to learn about how we build confidence and raise aspirations through encouraging young people to explore and articulate their ideas about art in context with their lives and the culture of our times.
Supporting creativity in Primary Schools
It was also brilliant to welcome so many teachers for our Creative Primary Arts Curriculum evening. Together with arts and heritage professionals from Wiltshire Creative, Salisbury Museum, Wiltshire Music Connect and English Heritage we led mini workshops in music, drama and ways of seeing followed by lively Arts Curriculum discussion and networking. We hold teachers’ evenings each term that offer the opportunity to discuss ideas around education and art whilst exploring the Gallery, Artist’s House and Sculpture Park. Each teachers’ evening has a specific focus to support and inspire the Primary, Secondary and trainee teachers that we work with.
Following the culmination of the ARTiculation Prizes in England, Scotland, Ireland and Italy, ARTiculation now looks forward to a series of exciting events over the summer months, starting off with the Final of the Discover ARTiculation Challenge for 14 – 16 year-old students. This will be hosted by the University of Leeds on 11 July and adjudicated by Nicky Bird, artist and Reader in Contemporary Photographic Practice at Glasgow School of Art. This will be followed by our summer ARTiculation Alumni event, hosted by the Parasol Unit Foundation, to include a tour of the East End galleries. August will be kept busy as we deliver our annual Partners’ Day at the Hepworth Wakefield and Leeds City Gallery. Additionally, we will be inviting existing partner galleries, museums and universities to Cornwall, a new region for ARTiculation.
The Joy of Sculpture
Last year over 5000 children, young people and specialist groups participated in our fully interactive tours and events but, for many reasons, it isn’t possible for all school groups to visit Roche Court. We have been exploring ways to distill the multi sensory experience of a visit into a travelling workshop that will bring a taste of the wonders of the New Art Centre to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience it. The pilot workshops took place at Sherborne Abbey Primary School at the end of March. 45 pupils, aged 9-10 years, were introduced to modern and contemporary sculpture, materials, artists’ concepts and making methods through interactive, cross-curricular story telling, creativity and role play. Much looking, thinking, speaking and fun was had and we look forward to reaching out to more schools in this way in the future!
‘No photo does justice to the actual event, as those present all know what an absolutely wonderful response we got from the children and staff. You have also left a lasting legacy in the lives of 45 children! Well done!’
Jean Wadsworth, Young Arts Representative, The Arts Society Test Valley
The Eridge Trust bursaries: Support for school visits to Roche Court
During this academic year, several schools have been able to visit us as a result of being awarded a bursary supported by The Eridge Trust. The cost of transport to and from the sculpture park can be a barrier, even for our most local schools who would like to visit us, and so the bursaries help to support these costs.
Examples of schools that have benefited from the funding include Sarum Academy in Salisbury and Ludgershall Castle Primary School near Andover. 48 GCSE Art & Design and Photography students from Sarum Academy visited Roche Court in March. Experiencing sculpture first hand and developing critical thinking is extremely valuable during this stage of the students’ education. Students had the opportunity to see work by leading artists such as Richard Long and Peter Randall-Page. Over 70 pupils from Ludgershall Castle Primary school were also able to visit us as a result of a bursary. The focus of their visit was ‘Materials’ which supports their curriculum theme in Science. These bursaries enable fantastic opportunities for hundreds of students, and as with all our Friends, Benefactors and Donors, we are extremely grateful to The Eridge Trust for this support.
‘Once Upon A Sculpture’ Family Workshop:
Storytelling, Adventure & Creative Thinking
The Roche Court Educational Trust runs a highly popular Family Workshop Programme during the school holidays. Our ‘Once Upon A Sculpture’ workshop saw the story explorers collecting ideas for their ‘storytelling map’ within their handmade sketchbooks during a tour of the sculpture park. We discussed the work of Des Hughes, Ian Stephenson and Barry Flanagan, amongst other artists. Families then developed these ideas into a range of marvellously imaginative story sculptures during a practical workshop. If you are interested in attending one of our Family Workshops, please note that booking is essential.
ARTiculation Prize: A National Success!
It has been another fantastic year for ARTiculation. Over 1,000 students from across 9 regions of England entered the ARTiculation Prize which culminated in the Grand Final at Clare College Cambridge. The adjudicator Lord Smith of Finsbury commented that it was ‘a privilege to listen to the outstanding presentations’. Lord Smith awarded First Prize to Evie Faber, from St Edward’s School, Oxfordshire for Diane Arbus, ‘Young Man in Curlers, at Home on West 20th Street, NYC’, 1966, Second Prize to Skai Campbell from St Olave’s Grammar School, Kent for Roy Lichtenstein, ‘Whaam!?’, 1963 and Third Prize to Jorge McCready from King Edward VI School, Warwickshire for Quintin Massys, ‘The Ugly Duchess’, 1513’. 170 students, teachers, universities and guests gathered to watch the Final and attend the conference which included undergraduate led tours of Cambridge and presentations from 11 universities. We now look forward to ARTiculation Italia, to working with new alumni who have joined our ever-expanding alumni network, and to the Discover ARTiculation Challenge for 14 – 16 year olds which takes place at the University of Leeds in July.
Micro Macro Snow
Our first Teachers’ Open Evening of 2018 on 27 February brought together many intrepid teachers from across educational phases to learn about the new educational opportunities and events on offer for teachers and schools at the New Art Centre, Roche Court in Spring and Summer. We enjoyed a magical private view of the Ian Stephenson painting exhibition in the Gallery. Stephenson’s atmospheric paintings, inspired by everything from atoms to the Milky Way, are made up of layers of multi coloured spots and marks that swirl and dance in front of the eyes and the effect was heightened by falling snow all around us. Stephenson’s painting process informed the Italian film director Antonioni in his approach to the 1960’s film Blow Up, and we were given an insight into the relationship between painting and film in Blow Up and other films by the Film and Media Lecturer Roy Ashbury. Forthcoming teachers’ evening events include the Primary Arts Curriculum Creative Ideas Workshop on Thursday 24 May, in collaboration with Salisbury Museum, Wiltshire Creative and Wiltshire Music Connect and The Amazing Expandable Sketchbook on Wednesday 20 June, where arts professionals from different disciplines will share the rich variety and possibilities of sketchbooks.
Looking, Thinking, Speaking, Doing
In addition to our Standard 4 hour and Extended 5 hour visits we also offer a Specialist Tour and Workshop that includes a practical workshop. The Specialist Tour and Workshop is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore, imagine and critically engage with the array of contemporary and modern sculptures and paintings on display at the New Art Centre and then immediately put that learning, the concepts and vocabulary, into practice through a related practical workshop and critique. Specialist Tour and Workshop participants have engaged with concepts of rules and process used by a selection of artists whose work is currently exhibited at the New Art Centre. Through first hand research and discussion the students developed their own rules and process by making mixed media sculpture maquettes and speaking about their maquettes in context with the sculptures they had seen in a group critique. All visits are tailored to the schools requirements and focus areas.
The next generation of directors, curators and critics?
The Roche Court Educational Trust’s annual ARTiculation Prize has got off to a flying start. So far we have travelled 2,000 miles across England to listen to 75 young people give well researched, carefully considered and eloquently presented 10 minute talks about art, artefacts and architecture. We have welcomed over 500 guests to ARTiculation events at museums and galleries and we look forward to many more joining us at the remaining 5 Regional Finals, ahead of the Grand Final at Clare College, Cambridge on the 9th March. ARTiculation takes the work of the Trust out on a national level, encouraging young people to visit their local museum, undertake research and share their thoughts and opinions on art in public.
Permanent, Fleeting, Anthropomorphic: a duet of dance and sculpture
Sculpture and Movement is a new project, in partnership with two university Dance courses. Arts University Bournemouth and the University of Winchester have each embedded Sculpture and Movement units that involve research visits to the New Art Centre into their Dance degree courses. First and third year students participate in extended research workshop days in the sculpture park as a starting point for improvisation and performance. The University of Winchester dancers have started their research into duets, and the dualities that can be conveyed through process, placement and form. Dancers from Arts University Bournemouth explored ideas of Time and Traces considering processes, concepts and materials and will be cascading their learning through workshops with Bournemouth and Poole College and Bourne Academy. During both research visits the students focused on a variety of artists exhibited at the New Art Centre, particularly by Barry Flanagan, Peter Newman and Richard Long. Discussions explored the parallels between the vocabulary and language of dance and sculpture and how such exchanges could be embodied through movement. We look forward to seeing the outcomes!
Searching for ‘wild beasts’ during our half-term Family Workshop!
The Trust runs a hugely successful Family Workshop programme during each school holiday through the academic year. In February we invited families to discover wild beasts within the sculpture park! We considered how and why artists portray animals in sculpture and what they might symbolise. Families brought their imagination and were led on an interactive tour of the sculpture park to explore answers to these questions, and many more. We then used our findings to inspire our own animal-themed artworks using a variety of materials, including clay.
If you are interested in finding out further details about our Family Workshop Programme please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note these events are extremely popular and booking is essential.