When I entered the University of Education, Winneba albeit reluctantly I faced a dilemma I had not noticed: choosing a 3-D elective. I harked back on the great painters of old and then it struck me. They all did some form of sculpture. I followed that path however small I may be in the art world. I do not regret that decision.
First year sculpture was a mix of challenging and a lax attitude in general. My first sculpture lecturer was full of ideas and a hard taskmaster. Her assignments invariably meant you had little to do the rest of the week. As students we grumbled yet set to work. I am however to blame for my low achievements then. My close friend then often assured me not to be so uptight about it. It was not rocket science that my grades were extremely poor. I was disappointed in myself. Full of ideas but a profound inability to work the material exactly as I saw it meant I was often flummoxed. I resolved to get them up in the next year. Some sculptures I made which I can be proud of are as follows; Blind Dog (the bust of a dog), a relief sculpture with a floral design, a tricycle assembled by me. My most memorable day in sculpture class was when I made Blind Dog. I had not done the assignment then so when I came to class I grabbed some clay and quickly modeled a dog. When I was asked to explain my work someone pointed out that the dog had no eyes. I countered by saying it was the character in a book I had read. (It was actually about a blind cat.) I was hence nicknamed Blind Dog. I tried my best to stick to my strengths in an area where I was unfamiliar with so I made animals as much as I could.
Second year was a massive growth curve. I found myself a new sculpture partner and I was in the class of one of the most influential adults in my life (I did not know yet.) Portraiture was interesting. My partner despite his bad boy traits proved to be a hard and able worker. He occasionally gave me working tips. I guess you kinda learn shortcuts when your dad is a professional sculptor. We took a trip to Kumasi. It was exciting and purposeful. You can never quite get over the thrill of travelling with course mates. We visited quite the number of places. I doubt I ever go there again. Back I school we set to work on busts. It was very challenging but I put in my best effort. I was a bit surprised when I got a B in my grades. No offense but my first lecturer did not make sculpture very enjoyable neither were my grades positive. Second semester was no less exciting. We did some carving and there was another field trip in it for us. We went to Aburi. It was also more challenging than the first sem. I suffered a crisis of self and an artistic low. My relationship ended and troubles at home proved tasking. I withdrew into myself. My erstwhile partner-turned-just-friend told the lecturer and we had a chat. I broke down. Thereafter I would go to see him and just talk. He is a good friend. I have never talked to an adult about how I felt inside before and I am glad he was the first. My carving was alright though I finished way behind time. I felt a bit good about myself. I established myself as one of the best presenters in the class. My points were largely irrefutable and I tried to be as organized as possible even going without notes to look through because I had memorized everything.
Third year slowed down a bit. Again I had to find a new partner. My former partner’s dad was the lecturer. He pushed us hard. Metal casting is no joke. I nailed presentations though and we went on yet another class trip. We visited Touch of Bronze and a couple other places. My practical was not strong enough but my grade was still good. Working with wax is not as simple as it looked. It was mercurial in nature. Second semester had it slump with a friend slowly cutting me out of her life. I put my foot down and braved the semester though. Third year was also my final sculpture year. I feel I am not in enough control of it to keep working at it yet.
When I graduate from UEW I will miss this class. In more ways than one. I genuinely learnt something new and different in art. I managed to create with my hands from media other than paper. I made a new friend. I earned respect and I gave it.
Art and education is always a curious blend of dogma and rule breaking. I am glad to have survived it.
Memories of unforgettable moments