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Banks Avenue School

Region: Canterbury/Chatham Islands

Art form: Visual Arts

Project name: Pareawa

Creative name: Rebecca Harris

Project information: Banks Avenue School was severely damaged in the 2012 earthquakes; it was deemed a rebuild. We are due to move into Pareawa (adorn the banks of the river) Banks Avenue School in July 2022. At Banks Avenue School our HEART values underpin our Curriculum, Climate, Culture, and our connection to our Community. This community has been through substantial change and loss and has managed to keep its HEART and its identity throughout; we are very proud of this. We are extremely honoured that the name that we have been gifted, Pareawa, honours our long-standing relationship with these waters and their banks.

The brief for our visual art installation was to include representations of our past, present, and future in our design. Our creative will facilitate each and every child in our school along with all staff to create a ceramic tile that represents them and their culture. 

Tiles will be mounted on a 9-metre board that is shaped like a river. The tiles that run along the entire edge of each side of the river represent the tangata whēnua who will guide us along this journey. These tiles will be made by students selected for an art extension group across the Year 3-6 learning bases. We will also include past Year 6 students' names on tiles: these students were to have been part of the new school; they had input into its design, but with build delays they missed this opportunity and for this reason we want to include them.

The planting at the base of the installation is a part of the vision as it will represent the native plants that thrive along the banks of the river and would have covered the local land before it was developed—we see this as a small step toward giving back to the land. The collaborative approach taken in the creation of this art piece will not end there as we also plan to create a book with the story of each person's tile in it. We feel that this along with our art will become a tāonga in the future.

Project starting: February 2022

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