Irvine Royal pupils experienced world-class art in their classroom as part of the largest ever sculpture project undertaken in the UK.

A cement fondue sculpture, ‘Figure of a Shipbuilder’, created around 1949 by one of Scotland’s most renowned 20th-century sculptors Benno Schotz was loaned from the Scottish Maritime Museum to the school to inspire learning.

Irvine Times:

The sculpture is thought to be inspired by Schotz’s time working as a draughtsman for John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank.

Award-winning sculptor Shona Kinloch led bespoke workshops on Thursday, May 30 at Irvine Royal Academy, aiming to capture the imagination of S3 students and inspire a lifelong passion for art.

Each pupil created their own figure from clay inspired by the Benno Schotz sculpture and Kinloch’s own well-loved sculptures found across Scotland including ‘Sea Dogs, See Gull’ on Irvine Harbourside.

Sculptor Shona Kinloch said: ‘It’s been lovely to visit Irvine Royal Academy to work with the pupils and share my love of sculpture.

“It was also great to hear that the pupils were aware of the public sculptures I have on the Harbourside in Irvine." 

Irvine Times:

Kendra Reid, Acting PT Art and Design, said ‘This has been a valuable experience for pupils. It’s wonderful to get a real practicing artist in school who can inspire the next generation of artists.’

Jamie Menzies, Learning and Access Officer at the Scottish Maritime Museum, said: “Masterpieces in Schools provides an excellent opportunity for us to share our new national art collection with young people outside of the typical museum setting.

“It was really inspiring to see pupils creating their own works inspired by our ‘shipbuilder’.

“We hope, in turn, the initiative will encourage more young people to visit the museum to continue their creative journey amongst all the wonderful sculptures, paintings, watercolours, photography and mixed media in our exciting new art collection.”

The Masterpieces in Schools event, organised by Art UK is part of a national learning and engagement programme which launched in 2018 – part of Art UK’s ongoing sculpture project.

The unique initiative takes sculpture out of the museum and into classrooms.