Post image for Funky Junk Art

This week I was training at Malvern Way Infant and Nursery School in Rickmansworth. Over the past 8 years they have been developing their grounds. This has included giving children opportunities to work with artists and sculptors. Usually the artist creates a piece of work for the school and this is used as inspiration for children’s own work. 

Art Bits Inspiration

The sculptor who created this piece of art was Pete Moorhouse. It is cleverly situated where children can walk along a corridor with windows on both sides. So on one side are the artists’ works. Looking out of the other window, one can see the children’s works that have been created with the artist.

Art Bits Collection

Whilst the works may not obviously be connected, I loved the funky-junkiness of these sculptures. They come across as highly original and individual even though similar materials have been used by all the children involved.

Art bits Kite

The kite is a collective piece of work and typifies the approach. Every sculpture required time spent looking and appreciating the effect because surprises were hidden in each one. For example in the photo below, you can see that a stick has been added.

Art bits 7

The use of Perspex has been great. The colours and the shapes add a brightness to the works in combination with lots of unwanted CDs.

Art Bits 2

Corks, ply board and other wood offcuts have been either screwed on or nailed in. There’s also been evidence of sawing the wood. Thus a variety of practical skills are being applied here. This is much more original than many technology and woodworking projects I see where children are directed to make  a particular object with a fixed outcome. These sculptures seem to have a balance between the process and the product.

Art bits 6

The trick appeared to be to create a broad wooden base and post. Onto this most of the junk and off-cuts can be added.

Art Bits 4

I also rather like the one or two pure-wood sculptures. They highlight the pattern and waves shapes. The sculpture below didn’t need the fancy-smancy Perspex or CD bling.

Art Bits 5
Many thanks to the staff at Malvern Way Infant and Nursery School for making me feel so welcome. May you continue the positive legacy started by Janet English and the grounds continue to grow and be a wonderful place to learn and play.

The sculptor, Pete Moorhouse, runs lots of training sessions, keynote speeches and workshops. Although I’ve never seen him, everyone I meet highly recommends him. Also he has lots of sensible advice about tools and woodwork – please get in touch via his website – Irresistible Learning.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Merlinda (@pixiedusk) March 29, 2014 at 12:43

Amazing sculptures!



Kierna March 29, 2014 at 15:29

Oh they are so cool, love this idea. Will have to see what I can do to replicate similar in our space.


rachelmcclary March 29, 2014 at 16:43

Oh, I love these. Quickly adding to my interest boards for future reference.


Coombemill March 29, 2014 at 18:39

How original and effective. Great for the children to learn and explore and I love the different materials used. Thank you for sharing on Country Kids


Juliet Robertson March 29, 2014 at 20:13

Thanks everyone – it was certainly an art project which I really liked. It also seemed to stand the test of time as the sculptures were done a while ago.


Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault March 30, 2014 at 14:39

What FANTASTIC school grounds – I used to work in school grounds development and had a few schools like yours that were happy to do really unusual things. it is is refreshing to see and so good for he children. I miss doing that job.


Leila - Mud Mud Marvellous Mud April 7, 2014 at 13:07

These are gorgeous! I would love a couple of these in our own backgarden. Thanks for sharing 🙂


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