Armchair Gallery

How to run a creative workshop based on Sculpture

Artwork by , created in

About this activity

Workshop themes

  • Connections
  • Family
  • Life
  • Love
  • Relationships


  • Suitable for groups
  • Suitable for one to one

Difficulty level




  • Name badges (for all participants and staff).
  • Old newspapers.  
  • Brown string (cut into short lengths).


  • Go around the room and make eye contact with everyone, shake their hand and say hello.
  • Begin by explaining to the group that you are going to play a game of sculpture – pass the parcel.  
  • Using old newspaper and string, ask the first person to crumple up the newspaper and then wrap the string around it. Then pass on the parcel…. 
  • The next person then does the same and passes it around. 
  • Continue until everyone has had a turn. 
  • This will build the context for a discussion to inspire conversations about layers, stories, and life journeys.
  • You may want to split people into two groups to see which group makes the biggest sculpture.




  • Look at the artwork using the Armchair Gallery app.
  • Welcome and invite the person or group to create with you and write their answers on the flip chart. Ask open-ended questions (like in the list to the right).
  • Affirm/echo all their answers - together we build a story that can have sound, movement, words - even drawings.
  • Retell the story, then invite them to add another creative element like sound, or movement.

Suggested Questions

  • What is going on in the picture? 
  • What colours can you see? 
  • What do you think they are made from? 
  • What message do you think the artist is trying to get across? 
  • How does this sculpture make you feel? 
  • What emotion do you think they depict? 
  • What do you think they feel like? 
  • What would you name this piece?

Play this video

Workshop members can watch this on their own tablet, or you can play it to the group by connecting your tablet to a TV or projector. It can also be downloaded from the Armchair Gallery website.

Interact with the artwork

At this point in the workshop participants should have a go at using the app to interact with the artwork. From the main menu, enter Yorkshire Sculpture Park, select Sculpture and tap Interact and play.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 1


  • iPads for Yellofier app.
  • Liquorice Catherine wheel.
  • Elastic.
  • Teacup, bowl and flour.
  • Bowls.
  • Plates.
  • Plastic knives.
  • Grass cuttings.


  • Download the Yellofier app. Record the sounds of everyone’s names in the group. Ask each member of the group to say or sing their name.
  • Explore the soundscape of names in the app.
  • This task could be taken further by making sounds with different objects and voices.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 2


  • Hand out a Liquorice Catherine Wheel to each member of the group. Ask people to unwind them and tie them into a knot, focussing on creating sculptures and shapes with the liquorice. These can then be tasted and eaten.


  • Using a large length of elastic, pass this around and knot various objects into the elastic (such as the legs of chairs etc.) Spend time working as a group to untangle everything. This will promote conversations about different shapes and sculptural qualities.

Multi-Sensory Exploration, Part 3


  • Preparation: fill a teacup or bowl with flour and pack it down firmly. Prepare a few of these so you can explore shapes and the different forms of sculpture.
  • Flip the teacup or bowl over on a plate, leaving a mound of the compacted flour.
  • Exploration: passing the flour mound to each member of the group, ask people to cut away various parts of it with the plastic knives. Continue this task until everyone has participated and then reveal the final sculptures.
  • Discuss what they look like and what the material felt like when cutting it away.
  • Shape and composition using sugar cubes could be explored. These can be sanded down to create group sculptures.
  • Square blocks of soap can also be used to carve into.


  • Inspired by the landscape of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, pass around some grass cuttings to smell and touch.

Making: Crochet Tree


Once the crocheted artworks have been completed they can then be wrapped around a tree or branch indoors or outdoors.

Thank everyone for attending and for taking part and then conclude with a round of applause.


Getting Materials

You should be able to get most of the materials mentioned in this guide at your local arts supplier.

They are also avaiable on Amazon. If you shop via Amazon Smile (using the button below - UK only), then we will recieve a donation that we can put towards our work with older people.

Other Apps

You could use these other apps to further explore digital technology in your workshop.