Elephant under a Tower

Elephant under a Tower

A public sculpture by Andrew Burton which was originally on the Gateshead Garden Festival site in 1990 and ever since has been hidden away on a business park in Newcastle upon Tyne

Key Stage:

KS3 Art


This lesson plan can be used to start a sculpture project. It helps develop ideas and understanding of processes and materials. It can also be used as part of study of any artist using casting as part of their process.



Elephant under a Tower by Andrew Burton was originally commissioned for the 1990 Gateshead Garden Festival site with two other sculptures by the artist. On the Garden festival site it was called Elephant under a Moroccan Edifice but the name was altered when re-sited at Newcastle Business Park. The sculpture is made in bronze.

Classroom Activity - Part 1

Give your group this link or click on the image and get them to study the 3D version of the sculpture and try and work out what tools and materials the artist used to make this sculpture by going in close and examining the surface of the sculpture.

Sketchfab 3d model

A clue...it might have been made in one material first and then transformed into another.

Classroom Activity - continued

Now show them this page in the Gateshead Garden Festival brochure Festival Landmarks that tell us more about the Andrew Burton sculptures and include a quote from Andrew about his technique.
Download gardenfestivalbrochure.pdf

Classroom Activity - continued

Watch this film and see if it helps
<b>Classroom Activity - Part 2</b>

Classroom Activity - Part 2

Ask your students to sketch a design for a sculpture of an elephant with one other object. The additional object could be anything at all but they will need to have some justification for the choice. Refer back to Andrew Burton’s explanation in the Garden Festival brochure.

Classroom Activity - Part 3

Using any material you have in your classroom get each student to make an elephant sculpture. Here are some other sculptures to give you ideas for possible techniques or styles. Download Elephant ideas sheet.pdf

Development Activity:

Study CultureStreet's section on Miro or Antony Gormley

Learning Objectives:

Pupils should understand the techniques of modelling and casting

Research, Notes and Links:

Download this lesson plan
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