International Sculpture Day 2021 #ISDay

Sunningwell School of Art will be celebrating International Sculpture Day 2021 with a range of activities including a festival of sculpture to be held at the school on Saturday 24th April. So put the date in your diaries now and keep checking this page for updates as we get closer to the time.

We’ll also be hosting a very special two day sculpture workshop on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th April for people who have suffered a brain injury, led by tutor, Pam Foley.

Back in April 2020, many of us were sheltering inside but amazing public art created by sculpture students at Sunningwell School of Art, was showcased on Saturday 25th April, as part of our virtual celebration International Sculpture Day 2020 (ISDay 2020).

ISDay is a worldwide annual celebration of sculpture on the last Saturday of April every year. It was established by the International Sculpture Center and is meant to raise awareness, appreciation and enjoyment of sculpture in communities across the globe.

As well as hosting a virtual exhibition on our website, we highlighted the huge part sculpture and sculptors have played in people’s lives with a daily Countdown to ISDay. Each day we focused on a specific sculpture and sculptor, starting with Michelangelo and his iconic ‘David’ followed by. ‘The Kiss’ by Rodin, ‘Two Forms (Divided Circle)’ by Barbara Hepworth, ‘Spider’ by Louise Bourgeois and last but most certainly not least, ‘Les Trois Graces’ by Niki de Saint Phalle. See below for the final day of the countdown.

For more information about International Sculpture Day here.


Countdown to ISDay – Final day

Les Trois Graces by Niki de Saint Phalle (1999)

Les Trois Graces is a set of three public artworks by French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. The Three Graces are part of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York Avenue Sculpture Project. In the classic style of Niki de Saint Phalle’s work, Les Trois Graces are three large sculptures of voluptuous women (a creation that de Saint Phalle calls a ‘Nana’) who appear to be dancing. Made of fiberglass, one Nana is covered in white, one yellow and the other is black mosaic tiles, ranging in heights of 12 to 15 feet.

They all wear elaborate bathing suits in designs such as hearts, fish and instruments, in multiple color schemes. A whimsical set of sculptures, the three figures have their arms raised as if ballet dancing; each has one foot on the ground and another raised up. They are Saint Phalle’s own version of The Three Graces. The artist said that the works represent unity among the races.

Image courtesy of https://www.wikipedia.org.eng/

Les Trois Graces are the first of many sculptures being installed for the New York Avenue Sculpture Project by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. By 2015 a selection of sculptures was installed along New York Avenue from 13th Street to 9th Street. The Museum’s efforts were in part to bring ‘character’ to an area where ‘there is a lot of good stuff going on’ due to revitalisation programs in the neighbourhood. The installation of de Saint Phalle’s pop art works was intended to contrast with the traditional sculpture that graces the streets and square’s of Washington.


Did Niki de Saint Phalle’s work change the art world?

Read the Art News article for a fascinating discussion about art, feminism, politics and social change.

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