December 13, 2012 at 1:23 PM
With thanks to Mrs Cherielene Smith
At the end of this year, in recognition of 2013 as the 60th Jubilee year for the College, we undertook a large scale, collaborative Art project with the Year 9 students during their Home Centre Week. The plan was to enlist almost all of the Year 9 students over a period of four days and produce a lively and exciting mural. To come up with a theme, we looked at the cultural diversity of the students and after realising that students at our College can trace their ancestry back to almost every corner of the globe, we realised we had our colourful theme!
We decided that the mural would be divided up into House sections with each House taking responsibility for painting and, in some cases, adding to the design. Each of these sections reflected the colours of their House. For each area, we pulled in imagery that would link, be visually interesting and also be simple enough for Year 9 students to paint whether they were talented with a paint brush or not! Saint Kentigern logos, geckos, elephants, warriors, a pukeko, a panda, several waves, and many other vibrant sights would be seen to grace the walls of the ‘breezeway’ corridor that leads from Elliot Quad.
28m x 3m is a large canvas and after drawing up the concrete slabs for paint, we realised just how massive the project actually was!
Mrs Xanthe Noble, Mrs Sue Miller, Miss Vicky Sword and Mr Motu Samaeli all supported us through the Home Centre week alongside numerous tutors and supporting staff. Their enthusiasm and love of working with students was clear as day after day the wall started to take shape. On the final two days, we were delighted to have visiting mural artists to work with the students. It was also a joy to have some Year 12 and 13 art students pop in and lend a hand. The Year 9 students seemed to thoroughly enjoy the process of painting and were especially excited to realise that the wall would be up for many years and that they were not only working as individuals, but as a tutor group, a house member and as a year group within Saint Kentigern College. This feeling of participation was one of the most fulfilling parts of the project.
The design of the mural gained joint second place in the Resene Mural Masterpiece Design competition and I am sure we will throw our hat in the ring for the final wall in next year’s fully painted mural category. We are delighted with the final design and hope that many students enjoy it for years to come.
A big thank you to Mr Stephen Tolmie, the Art & Spatial Design technician, who supported us and worked hard at every stage of the project; to Mr Jon Dale who co-ordinated the Home Centre week; Mr Duncan McQueen who allowed us to do this in the first place; and of course all the wonderfully energetic Year 9 students who, no matter what level of artistic ability, all threw their hearts into this to make it a rich and celebratory mural that they can be really proud of.
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