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Appetite for Destruction

Submitted by Education on Mon, 05/12/2016 - 12:45

Usually at Bow Arts we help students to create works of art, but it’s not every day we encourage them to destroy one!

Last week we let a group of year 9 students from Bow School loose on an installation by artist duo Sid and Jim as part of a wider project Destroy which explores destruction as a creative act in the school context. The destruction and re-making of the artwork took place in the Project Space at our Rum Factory studios.


Destroy forms part of #10Experiments which is a series of interventions to try out new approaches and develop Bow Arts Education programme. In preparation for the main event, students took part in a series of exploratory workshops in which they destroyed small scale sculptures and made work while blindfolded. 

After a tour of the artist studios, the group dismantled and deconstructed Sid and Jim’s piece Is here alright?, an installation of cardboard boxes and packaging that looks like it might contain something precious or important.  After lunch, the group returned to the project space where they worked collaboratively to re-make the piece into a series of shelters and structures.

During the second phase of Destroy, we were able to work with the students more extensively ahead of the destruction and embed the project into broader discussions about art.  They did mini destructions of Poppy’s and each other’s work to prepare for the main event. We also used Philosophy for Children to explore larger concepts around how we experience art, whether anything can be art, and the role of imagination for artists. This time, we invited artists to participate by donating their work and being present at the destruction. It was great collaborating with Sid & Jim, who, quite instinctively, began working alongside the young people during the remaking process

Lydia Ashman, Senior Education Project Manager at Bow Arts

It made me think outside the box – if you’ll excuse the pun!

Year 9 student

If you are interested in finding out more and taking part in Destroy, please email