SculptureFest 2023

Saturday 16th September 2023
10am to 9pm

SculptureFest was a one-day festival presented by Sculpture in the City 12th Edition activation partner, EC BID. It was a family-friendly, fun-filled day of artistic and performance-based workshops and walking tours. Events were free to attend, open to all and took place at or near The Leadenhall Building (122 Leadenhall St, LondonEC3V 4AB). It showcased an exciting programme of activities alongside the City of London's Bartholomew Fair.

SculptureFest 2023 was part of London Sculpture Week 2023 (16 to 24 September 2023), which was organised in partnership with The Line, Frieze Sculpture an the Mayor of London's Fourth Plinth.

Curated and Produced by Lacuna.


All photos, unless otherwise stated © Mickey Lee Photography, 2023

1. Little Art Critics TV Workshops

Three 75-minute workshops for 5 to 12 year-olds were facilitated by faculty and students at the Young Film Academy. Children took to the microphone and gave their unfiltered reactions to the artworks on view. The aspiring art critics were directed and filmed by professional filmmakers from Young Film Academy. The final cut was screened to parents and the public at 5.45pm at The Leadenhall Building with free popocorn (see film above).

2. We, Poetry Workshop

Exhibiting artist Emma Smith, invited families to contribute to a collective poem workshop inspired by her neon artwork, We (2021) and exhibited at The Leadenhall Building. Participants were encouraged to add their own lines to the expanding group poem, which wove its way through the floorspace and to reorder any statements already displayed to create new meanings and poetic resonances. Participants could also create and take home their own poem-posters, using letterpress rubbing blocks of archival We poetry lines.

3. Collage-Making Workshops

This hands-on workshop invited families to create playful and instinctive abstract collages, inspired by Arturo Herrera’s artwork, Untitled (2022) and exhibited on The Leadenhall Building escalators. Participants first created colourful abstract pieces with paint sticks and then encouraged to swap and share their motifs to increase abstraction and visual richness. Applying collage techniques, participants then created artworks to express their personal experiences of the surrounding urban environment and artwork. The workshop was led by visual artist and educator, Anna van der Poorten.

4. Sculpture in the City Children's Tours

Five walking tours, curated for 6-12 years-olds and inspired by a new family-friendly artwork trail map, unveiled exciting new places in the City and instigated discussions about the purpose and value of public art and architecture. Hightlights included Mika Rottenberg's Untitled Ceiling Projection (2018) at 120 Fenchurch Street, Jess Pollock's The Granary at Cunard Place and Larry Bell's Pacific Red (IV, 2017) at 100 Bishopsgate. Participants were then encouraged to put their own creativity to practice by taking part in the Architecture Build Worksh-p (see above). Tours were led by Urban Learners, the official education Programme Partner to Sculpture in the City.

5. Architecture Build Workshop

Family-friendly drop-in sessions encouraged children and carers to put their creativity to the test by making a colourful 3D artwork of their City, inspired by the surrounding buildings and artworks. They were then invited to display their artworks as part of a collaborative and evolving display, under the title ‘City in a Sculpture’. Workshops were led by Urban Learners, the official education Programme Partner to Sculpture in the City.

SculptureFest is an Activation Programme of Sculpture in the City's 12th Edition, curated and produced by Lacuna and supported by Activation Partner, EC BID – the Business Improvement District for the Eastern City.

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