Today my family and I visited Cass Sculpture Foundation Park. It was our second visit with Angelo, and Valentina’s first. We visited when Angelo was about 3 months old. It was a bleak when I walked around the park, back in 2011.
Nonetheless, that visit stayed with me over the years. I visited the website a few months ago found out that there was a new exhibition ‘A Beautiful Disorder’. It was the work of 18 contemporary Greater Chinese (mainland China) artists. I was just captivated by the bust created by Song Ta. I had to see it with my own eyes. Then, I checked to see what other works were on exhibit. I was looking for works that would bring Maths alive for the kids. I saw ‘Darwin’ by Phillip King (2010) and ‘This and That and This’ (2014) by Eva Rothschild and other pieces I thought they would find interesting. I set them a challenge to spot as many shapes as they could. Off we went to Cass Sculpture Park, to explore size, shape and form with the kids.
Earlier this year I attended a Maths course for parents at a local children centre. While there I realised most of my difficulty with the subject stemmed from not knowing the language of Maths. I shied away from creative interest due to my fear of numbers.
At school I learnt by drilling, practice, repetition and memorising. Maths is everywhere. I feel if kids could grasp that early on, perhaps they would see how relevant and poetic it can be. It a too late for me, but right on time for Angelo and Valentina to develop mathematical thinking.
Naturally, a great deal of what they saw will wash over their little head. I don’t expect them to blossom into young Mathematicians. However, by engaging them in conversation and asking questions I hoped to encourage their powers of observation.
Observing shape and form
We looked shapes and why they used in the way they were. We looked at materials how they were used. We observed light and shadow shapes, and talked about the possible stories behind some pieces.
As much as I hate maths and I’m crap at it, I don’t want to pass that trait on to my kids. It’s my hope that they see that maths does not begin and end in the class room.
The Remains of a Day
We ended our visit by having a picnic lunch and enjoying country vista, from the ‘Picnic Grove’ (David Brooks 2012). Nature lover that we are, we made time to look at snails, caterpillars and spider’s webs. Before sitting them to sleep tonight I asked them both what they like the best about the trip. Angelo said he liked the picnic and Valentina said she like the statues. Her favourite was the bird. I’m not sure if she was referring to ‘Piegon’s House’ by Cui Jie (2016) or ‘Broken Butterflies’ by Thomas Kiesewetter (2010).
A few hours prior to that, when asked by a family friend what they saw at the park, Angelo said, shapes. Aged 5 and 3 years I’ll take that as a successful day out.
About Cass Sculpture Foundation
Cass Sculpture Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation. ‘Set within twenty-six acres of beautiful West Sussex countryside, the organisation is composed of exhibition spaces, an educational resource, an archive and a commissioning body.’
Visit their website to find about more about their work and what’s on.
I’m linking this post up to the Country Kids of Coombe Mill blog hop. Pop over to find out what we’ve been up to recently. It would be great o hear from you. You can also visit our Facebook page to see more photos from our day out, or follow on Instagram.
(updated 14th August)