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Sculpture inspires pupils in school visit

Man of Steel sculptor Steve Mehdi pictured with Bradfield School strudents, from left, Danielle Hague, Ellie Williams, Billy Shepherd, all aged 12, Matt Handy, aged 11, and Jak Campbell, aged 12, during his workshops.

Man of Steel sculptor Steve Mehdi pictured with Bradfield School strudents, from left, Danielle Hague, Ellie Williams, Billy Shepherd, all aged 12, Matt Handy, aged 11, and Jak Campbell, aged 12, during his workshops.

  • by Ellen Beardmore
 

Artistic students in Sheffield were given the ultimate inspiration when an iconic sculpture went on show at their school.

Bradfield School is the first to display the 3.9 metre high prototype of the future Man of Steel sculpture, which is touring the region and will eventually be installed at the side of the M1.

The sculpture went on display after 13-year-old pupil Max Blackburn asked his dad Paul, the business partner of sculptor Steve Mehdi, if they could bring it to school.

The pair also led workshops which challenged youngsters to come up with their own designs using brown tape, which is how the Man of Steel was originally conceived.

Steve Mehdi said: “We go into schools all the time to do these workshops and what is really interesting is the variety of designs that the pupils come up with.

“One group at Bradfield made a beautiful vase, somebody else made a podium with all of the Arctic Monkeys on and their instruments.

“Who knows what these designs might become? Some of them really made me think.

“I started using scrap tape for fun and found that you could use it like clay, and get a lot of detail.

“I then started casting those tape models in bronze and one piece in particular got a lot of attention because people saw it and said ‘it could be our Angel of the North’.”

Pupil Elizabeth Bateman, aged 12, added: “We made a statue with elephants on top because they are very powerful and strong.

“It was very impressive to see The Man of Steel in our school, it was a bit of a shock at first because it was so big.”

Fundraising for the landmark sculpture, which will overlook the M1 motorway from a former landfill site near Catcliffe, was boosted with a £1m donation in December and will continue this year.

The prototype was put together at The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

The piece was also chosen to go on show at Bradfield because it is a Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing (STEM) school.

Design and technology teacher Sarah McGoldrick said: “It has been fantastic to have the sculpture in school.

“We’re always trying in art, design and technology to show pupils how things work in real life and how the things that we talk about can be used out in the world.”

 

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