As part of a larger study entitled ‘The City of Sculpture’ qualitative data was gained through observation and interviews with children from year 5 Ridgeway Primary school, Staffordshire), 46 pupils in total ages 9-10 years of age. All the children were participating in a specially tailored sculpture project conducted by resident artist of the area Peter Walker sculptor whom the children had met on a previous occasion when the sculptor had unveiled large scale bronze public statues in the local area.
Through following the children and the teachers as they were educated in the knowledge of sculpture and art by the artist, experiences and thoughts on their work throughout the time spent were gathered as well as observations during participation at the school.
Below are some photographs showing aspects of the fieldwork. The children learned about public statues, the mining heritage of the local area, the ‘Staffordshire hoard’ and they designed and made their own sculptures using clay,wire and willow/ paper which were then exhibited at the local library for members of the public to view. The project showed that the development of the arts in the school was fully supported, commended and positive reactions were gained from the children, their teachers and the members of the public who saw their work. This is on-going research and the data collected shall continue to be added to a wider study researching the impact and effect of Art in a Public Space.