Art UK aim to engage the public with their mission of digitising the UK’s sculpture heritage in public ownership, enabling people to participate in this process and learn about sculpture in their own communities. The Sculpture Around You programme will provide a range of outreach, engagement and volunteering opportunities to create a lasting legacy of involvement in our sculpture heritage, both online and in-person.
Sculpture Around You events will build on existing partnerships and relationships with the 3,000 participating collections across the UK, including museums, galleries, universities, libraries and hospitals. The local knowledge of these organisations will be invaluable during the planning of the events, with the organisations acting as gatekeepers to diverse communities and groups in their region. As well as sharing knowledge of their audiences, the collection will be able to share staff resources, and marketing and promotion. In return, they will be opening up their collection and giving access to sculpture that may have received little or no attention in the past, to a wide audience.
Dorich House Museum at Kingston University is the former studio home of sculptor Dora Gordine and her husband the Hon. Richard Hare. The building was completed in 1936 and is a complete example of a modern studio house created for and by a female artist. In the spirit of Gordine’s life and career, the museum operates as an international centre to promote and support women creative practitioners.
Working with Dorich House we explored how digital outreach and new learning resources could increase their capacity for engagement programmes, reach new audiences and experiment with approaches to interpreting their collection.
These manifested as a series of 3D printed sculptures which were scanned form the collection, a set of 3D models for online use and a suite of sessions which can be run with informal and formal learning groups.
The project is now continuing at Aberystwyth School of Art where I am working with the sculpture collection of George Powell to better engage local people with the art held at the university.