On Wednesday 30 November 2016, a group of students from Heronsgate Primary School visited The Courtauld Gallery for the first of three workshops with artist and gallery educator Millie Knight.
The pupils firstly received an introduction to Rodin and his artworks exhibited in Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement. The class had the exciting opportunity to see the works of art discussed first-hand, looking at Rodin’s drawings, cut-outs and sculptures. Elsewhere in the Gallery, the pupils were able to explore how other works in the Courtauld Collection capture movement.
In the afternoon, the pupils looked at maquettes (small-scale model replicas of Rodin’s work) and drew from observation onto paper. The aim was to draw big, and to capture the movement of a dancer! Millie asked us to sketch but not look at the paper, only looking at the sculpture; it was difficult at first but made us look closely.
On 1 December, Millie and I went to visit school in Woolwich. The focus of this workshop was Rodin’s cut-outs. In pairs, pupils first drew round each other’s legs and arms, and then drew the body and head of their partner. The class then put their final cut-outs on the floor and took it in turns to respond, critiquing what they thought of each other’s work.
On the following day, the focus was to use clay to create mini sculptures. Millie began by demonstrating how to use plaster moulds, which she created especially for the project. Pupils took it in turns to use the moulds – there were different ones for arms, legs, heads and bodies. In-order to personalise their sculptures, the pupils moulded body parts together in various ways to convey movement.
The class thoroughly enjoyed learning about Rodin and his artworks – the said that their highlight was being able to use clay to sculpt their own Rodin dancers!
– Hannah Dixon (Student Ambassador)