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Hamilton West School

Region: Waikato

Art form: Community Arts

Project name: Uri o te Kura – birth of a school

Creative name: Sylvie Bolstad and Tina Das

Project Information

The idea for our project is to create an art piece that acknowledges the (difficult) origins of Hamilton West School. At this point in our history, it is important that we acknowledge our past; one way to do this is through an art creation. Relevant stakeholders will need support into the design of the artwork and the providence of local iwi. We believe that this project will mend some scars from the past and in doing so create a greater sense of belonging for our past, present and future ākonga (from wherever in the world they originate from). The ākonga directly involved in the project would gain a great understanding of our local tikanga and they would be able to pass this on to others using our tuakana teina approach. Our ākonga would visit sites in the Waikato to gain a cultural understanding of their local environment and to help their creativity in the design of the artwork.

Interpreting stories and histories through the creation of art can breathe new life and meaning into the stories from which they were inspired. In particular, children resonate with imagery as the first non-verbal vehicle for learning things. Both adults and children who participate in this creative/interpretive process gain additional insights and ideas while looking for effective ways to translate and capture the essence of the source information. The process requires plenty of exploration, problem – solving and finding ways to render and manipulate a range of materials to gain the appropriate skills to transform ideas into physical, finished artworks. 

Participants will be initiated into practical techniques for using the chosen media. Execution of the final work will take place in workshop rotations over a period that is convenient to both the Creatives and the school’s timetable. The outcome will be a permanent artwork to be placed on the school grounds either as an indoor or outdoor (potentially mixed-media) mural or a series of assembled components created as a thematic set.

Project starting: January 2023

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