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Elstow-Waihou Combined School

Region: Waikato

Art form: Craft/Object

Project name: Whakapapa Uku

Creative name: Sarah Lee

Project Information:

Students will craft two brick sized tiles that have their own concepts of whakapapa and identity shaped into them. They will start by exploring their own whakapapa with support from local iwi before designing and developing their sculpting ability. The work, whilst mostly led by a local potter, will include a visit to Waikato Potters to see their tiles fired. The completed tiles will be separated with one used in a decorative display at school and one taken home as a taonga.

We are in the process of building and developing our local curriculum at school and a significant factor in this is building connections and understanding between whenua and whakapapa. Clay comes from the earth, so the symbolic relationship is clear. In addition, the children will develop and express themselves in an unfamiliar art form building an understanding of sculpture that will start with cutting the tiles from a large piece of clay and conclude in a 3-dimensional design that is glazed and fired.

First the children will meet with a rep from our local iwi and our creative and develop an understanding of whakapapa with a focus on links to whenua. They will then spend time developing and refining a design using symbolism to express this whakapapa before sculpting two clay tiles. This will then be glazed and fired at Waikato Potters.

Project starting: April 2023

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