How to turn a cardboard box into (art) gold
Working in partnership with the Bow Arts Trust, Blank Canvas artist, Poppy Green, ran a sculpture workshop at Spotlight (www.wearespotlight.com) in East London.
"Alchemy" is the -mythical, sadly- process of turning any old metal into gold. We use the word in this context to stand for the use of everyday materials to make artworks, literally turning everyday junk into (art) gold.
Starting with a humble cardboard box (swiped from the local Chrisp St. Markets), the Spotlight kids set about decontructing and reconstructing the boxes, with the aim to increase it's value through their artistic endeavours.
Students were then given free reign to explore a number of different non-art materials, with only two rules....to make something 3 dimensional, and to use and combine their materials in ways that were unexpected.
The sculptures could be abstract, meaning the students were not tied to making it look like something. Instead they played with their materials, exploring shape, texture and structure.
We discussed the idea of "juxtapositioning" materials, combining contrasting or contradictory materials.
We discussed the work of Anish Kapoor, the artist behind "The Orbit" in the Queen Elizabeth II park in Stratford. He uses junk and offcuts to explore on a small scale potential sculptures. Inspired, we spent a bit of time in Photoshop imaging some of our work on a monumental scale......