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Build A Mini Eco World - Sighthill Primary School Project at WHALEArts

From January-March 2020 Sighthill Primary School's P5 class worked with artist Sally Price, using recycled waste materials as inspiration for sculpture, assemblage and drawing. In their weekly workshops at WHALEArts, the class utilised items usually considered as disposable to explore small and large-scale abstract sculpture making, the idea of temporary artwork and the importance of environmentally minded art making. 


The plan for the final stages of their project was for the class to share what they had learned with their peers, inviting them to take part in a school-wide sculpture making afternoon, the outcomes of which were to be presented at WHALEArts in an exhibition. Unfortunately, the making afternoon and exhibition were unable to go ahead because of the Covid-19 lockdown. 


However, once the class returned to school, we were able to put plans together to celebrate their fantastic work, with an exhibition of their work installed in the windows of WHALEArts, allowing the work to be seen in a safe, outdoor setting. 

The work shows how we can explore the impact of humans on the environment and find creative solutions to waste, inspiring the community to revalue rubbish and see the artistic potential in what we throw away. The exhibition included a collection of temporary mini sculptures, made intuitively by the class using waste materials, and collages inspired by these sculptural forms.  Also on display were large-scale group drawings which capture temporary floor-based artworks created by the class in their school hall, as well as a banner they made especially for the exhibition they aptly named Build a Mini-Eco World.


Below are some photos from the weekly creative sessions, and the processes the class explored throughout the project. 

Trash Treasure Boxes

To encourage the class to keep creating at home, and to say thank you for their hard work, Sally put together Trash Treasure Boxes for each pupil. These included reusable fixing materials, some pieces of “trash treasure”- objects from Sally’s collection that the class used in their workshops, and some ideas for how to start their own collection of reusable sculpture objects. 

Keep Creating at Home

There are so many things around your house that can be used to make art!

Making temporary sculptures and drawings with found objects means you can take them apart and make something new again and again - you’ll never use them up! It means we can delay things from ending up in landfill, and see value in items we often label as “rubbish”. Remember that it is the process of being creative, and not the product, that is the most fun! 


Here are some ideas for you to try out at home, using what you find:

We would love to see your home creations. Please email images to -

Special thanks to Sighthill Primary, Miss Hepburn, Miss Fraser and Miss Nimmo and their P5-6 classes, WHALEArts and Arts and Creative Learning - City of Edinburgh Council.

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