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Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
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Trash Sculpture

Look around where you are and gather as many bits and pieces as you can get your hands on. For example, have a look in the recycle bin for cardboard, wire, twine, plastic food packaging and bottles, polystyrene packaging, or have look outdoors for garden items like plastic flowerpots etc (just make sure you’ve checked the things you collect are okay to use for this art project).

Now pick a word from the following list:

  • Precarious
  • Exuberant
  • Explosive
  • Anxious
  • Perilous
  • Enthusiastic
  • Volatile
  • Uneasy
  • Risky
  • Excited
  • Fiery
  • Apprehensive
  • Unsound
  • Lively
  • Unpredictable
  • Restless
  • Perturbed
  • Dicey
  • Overwrought
  • Turbulent


Use your materials to build a fairly large scale sculpture about one metre high (or more) that expresses your interpretation of the word you chose. Use glue, wire, string, a stapler, tape and anything else you can think of to attach your found materials together. Don’t be too careful, for this project messy is good.

When you’ve completed your sculpture, ask different people at home if they can guess what word you are trying to represent.

Move the sculpture around, perhaps take it outdoors if possible, see if you can find the best place to photograph it—maybe sunlight or a torch-light will create interesting shadows and highlight shapes in your sculpture. Imagine your sculpture is in IMMA. Would you like it to be exhibited in a pristine gallery space or outside in the grounds? See how much context changes it.

Finally, if you do take photographs please share your artworks with us using the hashtag #IMMAArtTeens

This Teens at Home art activity was developed by artist Felicity Clear.