The Sculpture in Schools

Connecting Students and Schools to Sculpture

Artist in School. Adrian Ward
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The dynamic combination of student input and a professional artist can creates art installations that can transform and develop a new sense of purpose and identity in your school.


Artist Adrian Ward has created art installations in public and private schools across Melbourne. These projects have raised the profile of the school, not only in generating new enrolments but to encourage students to focus on a sense of pride and identity in their school and themselves.


The Creation


Over the length of one/two terms, students will assist the artist within art class times or class times set aside. Student participation is fully incorporated into the program to create the mural which includes drawing for the mural idea, engaging in materials and painting of the end mural.


The Construction


In cement construction for an example: the armature will be covered in 3 to 5 layers of chicken wire which creates a secure structure for the cement. Cement will be rendered onto the surface of the chicken wire to create the imagery. At the completion and curing of the cement process, the surface will be primed and made ready for the final finishing or painting of the durable outdoor surface.


The Prosperity


The durability of Ferro cement, for example, is unprecedented as a construction material and properly cured is as strong as steel, with no maintenance of the structure required for decades.

Art Installation Blackburne P.S.


Art Program: Artist Adrian Ward

Artist in Residence:

The Arts are Alive at Sacred Heart!

Principal – Mr Brian MartinSacred Heart Primary.

Sacred Heart has been fortunate to have Artist in Residence Adrian Ward. Adrian has worked in a number of schools and is also known for his work in sculpture in cement as well as in pure silver and gold.


He has recently been commissioned to work with pure silver and gold sculpture exploring the transition from classical sculpture into contemporary glitching. It is hoped this work will be on public display in the Victorian Mint.


Adrian has been engaged to co-create with the children an Old Time Looking Storyteller Chair. The chair will have a fabric finish, made from cement and be free standing to be placed in the school playground. The chair is being constructed in the Art Room and will be relocated and mounted later in the year.


The children also have had the opportunity to make their own clay moulding to cast their own cement piece that we anticipate having on display at the art show. Adrian has also given each class an artist talk sharing many stories from his artistic career.

The Artist in Residence Program helps celebrate the importance of The Arts in our lives and support of Arts Programs. Art is an integral part of learning and is so much more than a fun pursuit, it helps children learn to engage and persist as well as encouraging the use of critical thinking skills.
It helps children communicate their emotions and is a motivation to attend school. Research shows The Arts benefit student achievement and increases self-esteem and academic achievements.

The Old Time Looking Storyteller Chair will be a permanent reminder for the children of their experience working in cement. It will also give the children the opportunity to engage with story and narrative. I can see children or a storyteller leaning forward in the chair telling and retelling stories to a captivated audience. The storyteller’s chair will be a perfect addition to our school playground and another way for us to fuel the imagination of the children.

Outdoor Living Room

 Scotch Collage. 

Installation Artwork by Adrian Ward


The artwork by Artist Adrian Ward at Scotch College is skillfully sculptured in cement, a material that can withstand all that the outdoors and primary students can "dish out". 


Trapped within the art installation exist some of the original objects, for example with an armchair and an ottoman.  

Other sculptures are artfully moulded, for example, the Scotch College School Bag, Water Bottle, and a number of other cement food products. 


"Outdoor Living Room" at first glance looks like a normal setting inside, outside. The texture of the fabric evokes all the comfort of a favorite armchair and matching ottoman. The school bag sits lazily on the ground slouched up against the armchair as if thrown there just five minutes before a student returning home. 


A closer look reveals to the viewer, this armchair is not in fabric but cement as with the school bag with a red rust patina. Look even closer and a fish, cabbage, and of cause a lemon, sit strategically positioned ready to be cooked. 


The artist sees that children like no other time in human history, are spending their lives inside. The result is an ever-widening disconnect from the natural world. The natural world, the outside keeps us alive. We are intimately intertwined with nature not only for our survival but our psychological well-being. The artist's intention in "Outdoor Living Room" is to reconnect students to nature by re-contextualizing their indoor environment outside and to present the raw ingredients nature provides that sustain us and connect us to the living world around us. 

"Fresh frozen" in cement and time, the artist displays this contrast of outdoor and indoor, of permanence and impermanent and nature and the man made. 

This serving of art heightens the student’s awareness and perceptions of these relationships, educating them about the real world as they go about their day of play, on the school grounds. 

Kilvington Grammar. Art Installation 

The four pillars of Kilvington Grammar; Community, Care, Academic Excellence, Character.

WW1 Robert Mc Cubin Primary School, Memorial Mural.

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Somme Survivors WW1 Mural by artist Adrian Ward.

In commemoration of the 100 years since WW1 sculptor, Adrian Ward has created an impressive mural that captures a moment in time, at the Somme Battlefield in France.


Soldiers returning from the front line walk a well-trodden path along the trenchers to possibly safety but defiantly the unknown.

“I used actual photos from the trenches,” says artist Adrian Ward, thankfully supplied by Brian Tatson from the Box Hill RSL memorial department. “One of the photos was from a captured German trench which I then used in the mural. From the photo, I incorporate the heavy wood tank bridge, positioned on top of an ailed tank from the time.”


Adrian explains how the soldiers must have felt seeing a tank for the first time. “Mechanical machines had only been around for 16 years or so, the soldiers must have been shocked to see the industrial destruction they had volunteered for.”

“Under such pressure, the soldiers must have had to rely on each other to survive physically and physiologically. I have endeavored to portray this in my portrait of this time in history which was the start of the age of machines, ” says Adrian.


The Soldiers in the mural are trekking their way through the trenches to the possibility of safety, from the distance to the front at the center of the mural. The artist has created this effect using a scale perspective where the figure starts at 100mm high and finish with the central character, which is life size.

With the life-size central character, the artist has used a real army jacket which he transformed into cement. “Transforming items of clothing into cement is also a part of an exhibition of my artwork that I am working towards. Most of the other artworks in the exhibition are cast in gold and silver bullion. ” says the artist.


While the artist Adrian Ward was busy creating the artwork, the grade 6 students from Robbert Mc Cuban Primary School made regular visits to Adrian's studio, just 10 minutes’ walk from the school. Students were engaged in watching the development of the ideas, the artwork and the final product which the student added to with a handmade frame of ceramic poppies tile for the mural. The first version of the mural with the poppy tile can be seen in the War Memorial Garden at Robbert Mc Cubbin Primary School.


Interest in the mural has gathered momentum, opening the possibility of the artwork to be cast in bronze.

“Over the last 5 months creating the mural, I felt I was going back in time every time I went into my studio to work. If I have been able to transport people’s minds back in time, I hope I have succeeded in communicating the spirit of mateship the digger had for each other and the battle that was just beginning for a soldier returning home.” Said artist Adrian Ward.

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Major Ted Sergeant’s Boots.

Part 2 Robert mc cubbin primary school's ww1 sculpture memorial garden .

Karoo Primary School. Black Tyre Snake. 2016

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Upway South Primary School, Sky School Mural.

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