Young Londoners carve out their vision of Roman London

As you know, Young Academic is committed to bringing the student community news of all the most engaging events occurring across the UK. ‘Sculpting My City’ is part of Stories of the World: London, a Cultural Olympiad project by London’s local museums involving more than 1,000 young people.

As part of the Cultural Olympiad project, Stories of the World: London, and alongside the youth charity Fairbridge, young Londoners have been learning an ancient skill as part of the ‘Sculpt my city’ project being run by the Museum of London. Working with sculptor Matt Caines they have been carving in both wood and stone, pieces which will be displayed in the Museum at a gala event on Thursday 18 November.

Lucy Sawyer, Youth Programme Assistant at the Museum of London explained: “This group of young people spent some time in the Roman Gallery and in the archives of the Museum, where they spent time sketching objects that inspired them. They then worked them up in clay and now they’re sculpting them in wood or stone as their final pieces which will form part of the Cultural Olympiad exhibition in 2012.”

‘Sculpting My City’ is part of Stories of the World: London, a Cultural Olympiad project by London’s local museums involving more than 1,000 young people aged 14-24, across 23 London museums in 17 boroughs, to create four major exhibitions for London 2012.

Amy, 18, was very clear about what she’d got out of the experience; “I decided to try and sculpt a Roman-inspired spiral bowl. As my first sculpture experience, it’s been hard work but I’ve found it really interesting. You look at the bit of stone and you just think ‘I can’t do that’ but with Matt’s help I can see it appearing – there is a real feeling of achievement. You realise things in life that you say you can’t do, you actually can.”

Sculptor and mentor Matt Caines was chosen by the Museum of London’s Youth Panel to deliver the course and he’s proud of what the group have achieved; “The beneficial thing about stone carving is the slowness. It’s a very fast world and young people are used to getting everything very quickly. But with stone carving, if you’re not used to having to make something from scratch it can seem like a huge uphill struggle, but when you do there is a huge feeling of pride. Working with these young people has been a really positive experience, everyone has really got stuck in and it’s been a real pleasure.”

A direct result of consulting young people, Stories of the World aims to transform the UK’s museums, provide young people with the opportunity to develop new skills and confidence, as well as encouraging broader community cohesion.  The project is led by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

The ‘Sculpting My City’ celebration event takes place at the Museum of London on Thursday 18 November from 6 – 7.30pm in the Clore Learning Centre.  The event is free to attend.

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