Back to Online Creative Activities: Portable Sculpture

Make a 3D landscape inspired by artist Liz Ensz


Make your own 3D landscape at home, inspired by Portable Sculpture artist Liz Ensz.

Liz Ensz creates sculptures using fabric draped over random objects.

The artist is interested in man-made landscapes, the impact of mining and our use of natural resources, and prints images from Google Earth on to huge pieces of fabric.

You'll need:

- Random objects of different shapes and sizes
- Blankets, towels, sheets or clothing
- Ribbons, scarves or string to add lines


Step 1
Choose objects to make up your landscape


Choose objects of different shapes and sizes and arrange them on the floor or on a table.

Try to find objects that are different heights, this will help make more dramatic landscapes.


Step 2
Find materials to cover your landscape


Lay blankets, towels or sheets over the top of your objects. Choose things with patterns if you can (they show the curves or 'contours' really well).

Move the objects around and add more until you're happy with your landscape.

Try adding more layers of fabric, ribbons or scarves to make lines across your landscape.

If you don't have much room you could use t-shirts or tea towels and smaller objects (stripes work really well)!


Step 3
Share your creations with us


What kind of landscape have you made? Mountains, hills or a desert?

Could you recreate a landscape you have visited, or the landscape where you live?

Try drawing your sculpture - what happens to the patterns and string when they drape over the objects?

Can you play with your landscape? Who lives there? What might happen there?


Take photos of your sculpture and share them with us on social media using the hashtag #enszportablesculpture

Twitter: @HMILeeds
Instagram: @henrymooreinstitute
Facebook: @henrymooreinstitute


About the artist

Ensz creates large silkscreen prints of images from Google Earth showing the impact of human activity, which are arranged on top of piles of 'the best local trash' to create temporary landscapes. Ensz originally made structures for the fabric to drape over, but found that these really increased the costs and complexities of exhibiting the work.

In a more sustainable approach to making sculpture, the prints are now rolled up into a rucksack and bases constructed on site from whatever unused or unwanted objects can be found by the gallery team. This makes the work very portable, and different every time it's exhibited.

Image gallery


Meet the artist

In this video, Liz Ensz tells us about their sustainable practice, the origins of the work and their nomadic approach to making art.