“I like this. Seagulls remind me of the sea.”


This activity can be completed in the comfort of your own home or care site. Creative activities like this one can be incorporated in the day-to-day care of people in a variety of settings and this particular sculpture activity has been tried and tested by the residents of Hartismere Place care home in Suffolk. We worked with residents to select 10 artworks from the Paintings in Hospitals collection to go on display in their communal spaces.

Paintings in Hospitals sculpture-making activity with residents of Hartismere Place, Eye.


This activity is inspired by Roger Hardy’s St Ives Seagull. Roger’s painting creates an impression of the view over the English coast and features a common seagull resting in an advantageous position above the cliffs.

Roger Hardy, St Ives Seagull, 2002. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals collection at Hartismere Place.

Roger Hardy, St Ives Seagull, 2002. Part of the Paintings in Hospitals collection at Hartismere Place.


This activity helps self-expression. The tactile nature of modelling with clay offers individuals a wide variety of sensory experiences.

You will need:

Let’s get started:

  1. Using the images of birds draw a bird shape consisting of a body, head, beak and two wings. Use this as a template for the sculpture.
  2. Take a palm-sized amount of clay and make an oval shape for the body, a smaller oval shape for the head and a small triangular piece for the beak.
  3. Join the head to the body, then the beak to the head (using a drop of water).
  4. Roll out some clay, cut out two wing shapes and join them onto the body.
  5. Give the clay time to dry (24 hours) and then paint with acrylic paints to bring to life!


Let’s talk about birds!

While making the bird models, here are some things to think or talk about. If you are doing this on your own, you could write these down as you go.

  • Is this bird resting its wings for a moment after flying over the cliffs?
  • How far do you think it may have travelled?
  • How many different species of seagulls do you think there are?
  • Where are you most likely to see them?

Find out how you can benefit from working with Paintings in Hospitals...