Great St Helen's: Sculpture Space Schools Workshops

ArchiLensesArtFramesThe Great St Helen’s Sculpture Space is home to the City of London’s programme of temporary public art. The vibrant and varied work - by world-renowned artists including Dan Graham, Tracy Emin, Michael Craig-Martin and Angus Fairhurst - will stay on site from June 2012 to early 2013.

Open-City was invited to devise and deliver the local school and community workshops to encourage viewers to experience the sculptures in new and different ways, culminating in the creation of four viewing structures: Art Frames and Archi-Lenses.

Volunteers from the supporter companies, Aon, Aviva, British Land, HISCOX and IVG, as well as the architects of several iconic City buildings, enjoyed the opportunity to work with the school students and share their knowledge of the area.

DrawingGherkinWorkshops took place in architecturally-inspiring locations including at the base of 30 St Mary Axe, in the centre of busy Cheapside and at the heart of Leadenhall Market.

Art-architecture practice, Mobile Studio, collaborated with Open-City to devise super-scale structures that suggest ways to look afresh at the sculptures and promote learning through curiosity, experimentation and hands-on making.

The see-through frames enabled the children to become both visionary artists and curators of the city as they decided how their work would literally slot into the public realm – simple, accessible and engaging in its process, but spatially complex in its creations!

Sculpture Space: sculptures and sites



Workshop 1: Exploring Great St Helen's


First the students became Architective Explorers, investigating the 3 key themes of architecture, scale, light and materials and their effect on the personality of each place.

They then transformed into Curators of the City, focussing art and architectural views in Archi-Frames.

Workshop 2: Atelier in the Sky


In groups with the buildings's architects, the students created colourful and creative collages to frame focal points on the City skyline in preparation for designing their Art Frames and Archi-Lenses installations on the ground.

Workshops 3 & 4: Archi-Lenses and Art Frames


Students chose one of the sculptures to focus on and constructed either Archi-Lenses or Art Frames - devices or pieces of furniture to suggest a way to view the art work.

The success of the festival and schools workshops for local children in Tower Hamlets and Hackney demonstrates how much learning potential the City has to offer young people, and the value of unlocking it through inspiring creativity and curiosity.

The school children came from four neighbouring schools:

- Cayley Primary School, Tower Hamlets: Year 6
- The City Academy, Hackney: Year 7 Art & Design
- Haggerston School, Hackney: Year 9 Design &Technology
- St Paul’s Way Trust School, Tower Hamlets: Year 10 Photography

Each class visited an iconic City of London building with members of the architecture practice who designed it:

- The Broadgate Tower - SOM
- 30 St Mary Axe - Foster & Partners
- Heron Tower - KPF
- 100 Bishopsgate / Tower 42 - Allies & Morrison / Woods Bagot

If you would like more information on how Open-City can develop a project with your organisation, please contact Venetia Wolfenden or phone 020 7383 5722.








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