As a teacher, I’m very fortunate in that I sometimes get to take part in ‘crafty’ stuff, along with the kids. A few years ago, my class was chosen for a special ‘Spark’ project at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Before then, I’d never considered myself as someone who was arty. I just didn’t get it.
Anyway, this visit awoke something inside of me. Maybe it was the way the artist spoke so passionately about the sculptures, or background context and reasoning as to why the pieces had been created, or the fact that it was all set outside in glorious nature. Regardless of the why, I left the sculpture park feeling utterly inspired to turn over a new artistic leaf.
Unfortunately, I’m a crap artist. Fortunately, being bad at things rarely stops me from trying. Just ask anyone whose heard me sing.
So when the lovely artist came into our school and asked us to make soap sculptures in the form of Barbara Hepworth’s ‘Family of Man,’ I jumped at the chance.
Now, I know it’s not going to win any awards, and Mr. G shakes his head in disbelief that I insist on displaying like it’s a Golden Globe, but I love this thing. I really enjoyed making it. It was like a therapy session. I loved chatting to the kids in my class as they made theirs. We all put so much effort into chipping away at the soap, carving in the details. I’m ridiculously proud of it. What I know looks like a kid’s soap sculpture to others, is a masterpiece to me.
As an adult, it’s rare that you get to feel proud of something like this; something that you’ve created for no other reason than you wanted to – just for fun. I highly recommend drawing, painting or creating something – with your kids if you have them; with your friends if they’re so inclined; or just by yourself, for the sheer hell of it.
When I broke my leg a year and a half ago and I was confined to the couch for months, I threw myself into ‘crap art’ projects which are now displayed around the house. Here’s three of my favourites. Don’t ask me what the skull is about – seemed like a good idea at the time!
When was the last time you did something like this? Are you a fan of your own artwork like I am? Is it as bad as mine? All comments welcome: