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Team 3: Henry Moore – Wax Resist

Last half-term, we focused on the artist Henry Moore to link to our WW2 theme. In 1941, Henry Moore became an Official War Artist during WWII. This happened after showing his shelter drawings to his friend and chairman of the War Artists’ Advisory Committee, Kenneth Clark. Out of sympathy for the shelterers, Moore did not make any direct sketches underground, instead taking descriptive notes on the back of an envelope before returning to his studio to draw from memory.

The children watched videos and looked at books about Henry Moore’s life. They learnt key information about his life and added this to their sketch books:

  • He was a sculptor from Yorkshire.

  • He grew up in a simple house with 7 brothers and sisters.

  • He trained to be a teacher before becoming a sculptor.

  • He had to leave his training to fight in WWI (but came home to recover from a gas attack).

  • He came back to study art and was inspired by things all over the world.

  • He became an official war artist in 1941, during WWII.

  • When his home was damaged during WWII, he moved away with his family and stayed there until he died.

  • He was passionate about education and set up a foundation to help everyone access art and sculpting which is still running today.

The children looked at many examples of his work, including his sculptures and answered the following questions in their books:

  • What do you like/dislike about his work?

  • How does his art make you feel?

  • How do you think Henry Moore created his different art pieces?

  • What techniques and materials has he used?

  • Does his art have a purpose or message?

  • What questions would you ask him if you had the chance?

Here are some of the children's sketchbooks...

The children then recreated some of his work using a range of different materials (oil pastels, watercolour, collage, charcoal and sketch pencils) before experimenting with his wax resist technique.

Once the children were confident with wax resist, they then created their own final pieces of war art, in the style of Henry Moore. Here are some of their amazing pieces!


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