Exotic Floating Blooms at the Girls' School

May 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM

DSC_7960.JPGThe title should be Exotic ‘sort of’ Floating Blooms! Sometimes seemingly good ideas don’t turn out quite the way we expected!

The work of New Zealand multi-media artist, Bev Goodwin was the inspiration behind some group artwork undertaken by the girls in Years 3 and 4. Goodwin’s work had been spotted at a sculpture exhibition at the Auckland Botanic Gardens – her colourful, mixed-media, exotic flowers floated like giant water lilies on a pond. The idea was good and the process looked like something our girls could replicate. And so the idea was hatched that the girls would work co-operatively to create an artwork that could be floated on the school pool.

Through their earlier science studies, the girls had learned about plant structure and cross-pollination. They were set the task of working together to design and construct a floating flower, with a hubcap as the substrate, that would ‘use colour to attract bees, have stamens and anthers where the pollen would sit and have a stigma to collect the pollen from the bees and the birds.’ And so they set to work covering the hubcaps with wire netting to affix all manner of colourful objects.

The girls proudly carried their artwork down to the pool to launch their work in front of an audience of curious mums and dads. This is where things started to go slightly awry! On a positive note the torrential rain of minutes before had abated and the sun shone through. The rain had been such that the pool was full to the brim so there was no need to lean too close. There had been a prototype taken to the pool to prove the idea would float…but as the girls launched their artwork, three floated away as planned and the rest, one by one, sank to the bottom! After the initial surprise of seeing all their hard work sink, the giggles started! Caretaker, Mr Roband quickly stepped into the breach and put his net to use to fish them off the bottom. A quick discussion amongst the teachers on the side decided that a layer of bubble wrap should be added underneath, and if it ever stops raining, they’ll give it another go. (But secretly, the sinking added to the fun!) This aside, we did note that Goodwin’s blooms sold for $1,150 apiece.  Now if the girls can get theirs to float….!

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