Sculpture scheme

Scheme:  Sculpture: making small-scale realistic models about Irish and African settings.

No. of lessons: 12
Total time: 480 minutes
Group: fourth years
No. of pupils: 15


To help pupils to:
·         Explore the work of Thomas Demand.
·         Investigate the concept of the ‘everyday’ in relation to Africa (development education)
·         Experience the process of construction using paper.

Overall learning outcomes for the scheme

On completion pupils should be able to:
  • Discuss the work of Thomas Demand
  • Understand the term ‘installation art’.
  • Assemble a paper model.


Thomas Demand
       Is a German sculptor and photographer. He is known for making photographs of three dimensional models that look like real images of rooms and other spaces. Once he has photographed his re-created environments he destroys his models, why do you think he does this?
‘The Dailies’ exhibition in particular
       Project 25 for Kaldor public art projects was 'The Dailies' exhibited at the commercial travelers association centre, Sydney, Australia, 23 March - 22 April 2012
       This was a piece of installation art.
       For this exhibition Demand took over a floor of the building which comprises 16 bedrooms arranged in a circle around a central corridor. In each bedroom he hung one of his series of photographs which he calls 'The Dailies' over the bed. This is a series of work he has created over a number of years. He takes photographs, little snapshots of daily life with whatever camera he has to hand. Demand has compared these photographs to haiku, as they are like a beginning, the seed of a narrative/story.
What is ‘installation art’?
       Installation art is a type of art where the artist tries to create an entire environment for the ‘viewer’ to experience. This type of art incorporates a broad range of everyday and natural materials, which are often chosen for their "evocative" qualities, as well as new media such as video, sound, performance, virtual reality and the internet.

Developmental education - Capturing the everyday in Africa for example, representations of African village live in the media.
·         What would someone see if they decided to capture everyday scenes, like Thomas Demand does, in Africa?
·         What do we think of when we think about Africa?
·         What is interesting about these images?
·         How are they different from the everyday settings we see here in Ireland?
·         Do you think these are typical of what you think of Africa, is there anything unexpected in the images?

African villages & houses


  • Taking images of everyday buildings in Ireland,
  • Make a paper model based on one of these images
  • Photograph the paper model
African house interior
  • Using one of the images of a typical African environment,
  • Make a paper model based on this image
  • Photograph the paper model


Class discussion on Thomas Demand, his work, worksheet on Thomas Demand, African settings and the definition of ‘installation art’. Class discussion on the notion of a picture creating a ‘narrative’ Class discussion about the African images.

Use of digital media: 

A PowerPoint presentation, the internet for the images.

Teaching/learning strategies:

  • PowerPoint presentation on Thomas Demand and capturing the everyday.
  • Whole class discussion on life in Africa in contrast to here
  • Worksheet on Thomas Demand, etc.
  • Individual guidance on the creation of paper models.


If students get finished the making of the paper models we can photograph their models recreating the viewpoint used in the original image.


 various types of paper and card to be brought in by students, glue and tape, scissors, computer for images.

Safety precautions: 

 standard health and safety precautions for the art room especially in relation to use of scissors while making paper models.

Timeline/sequence of lessons:

Week 1:
1.       Start with presentation on Thomas demand, show examples of his work: presidency, the clearing, etc., explain how he makes paper models, photographs them then destroys the models because he moves around. Move on to show the dailies. Explain to them that ‘the dailies’ is an installation piece, what is an installation piece? Development education – talk to them about the ‘everyday Africa’ images. (lesson 1 – double)
2.       Assess and assign images to base paper models on, plan paper models in 2-d drawings. Students will work in groups of two or three to create their paper models. (lesson 1)
3.       Continue to plan paper models in drawings. (lesson 2)
Weeks 2 & 3:
4.       Build paper models (lessons 3 - 6)
Week 4:
5.       Photograph the paper models (lesson 7)
6.       Display the photographs in the school (lesson 8)
If possible:
7.       Have an exhibition at break or lunchtime, get it announced on intercom

Assessment rubric:

needs work
worksheet  on presentation (6)
less than 3 correct
3 or 4 correct
5 or 6 correct
Planning Sketches - (10)
poor composition, weak drawing skills, rushed work
good composition,  good drawing skills
excellent composition, excellent drawing skills
Model making - (54)
model poorly constructed, does not seem to relate well to chosen image
model shows likeness with chosen image, well-constructed
model shows good likeness with chosen image, model well-constructed, inventive use of materials
Participation - (30)
does not seem to listen to instruction, work seems rushed, does not participate in group
shows signs of listening to instruction, works well with group
shows signs of listening to instruction, participates in class discussion, works hard
Evaluation of scheme:
On this scheme I had issues in relation to timing and student absences. I felt that the scheme could have done with a lot more time but with hindsight I realise that if I had distributed the jobs more, giving some students specific tasks such as windows etc, we might have gotten more ground covered.