Leeds primary school pupils enjoy art lessons with a difference

Pupil Naham Tesfalidet sketches the 'Rebekkah' sculpture.
Pupil Naham Tesfalidet sketches the 'Rebekkah' sculpture.
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A striking figure has joined primary school pupils in Leeds for an art lessons with a difference.

‘Rebekkah’ left Leeds Art Gallery for the very first time and has been given a temporary new home at Shakespeare Primary School in Burmantofts.

The imposing sculpture took pride of place in the school hall as pupils were given the chance to get arty.

Inspired in part by the famous Terracotta Warriors of ancient China, ‘Rebekkah’ is made up of a series of delicate plaster casts of a woman’s body and addresses themes of mass production and consumerism.

The visit is part of the gallery’s ongoing efforts to get their world-class art collection into the community, ensuring art is still accessible to the public while the building itself is closed for essential repairs.

The school visit has been made possible through the Art in the Public Sector project, led by local artist Paul Digby.

Amy Brealey, assistant head teacher, said: “Shakespeare Primary School prides itself on providing the children with real life learning experiences.

“What better way to fuel an art lesson than to have a real sculpture installed from Leeds Art Gallery, and who better to support the learning than local artist Paul Digby, who has been working with every child in school as part of his ‘Art in the Public Sector’ project.”

Art gallery staff led workshops with youngsters including drawing sessions and then creating clay sculptures. The project is supported by East Street Arts, Arts Council England, Leeds Emergency Services and Artforms.