- October 27, 2017
Staff, children and families flocked to our Annual Art Show, the theme of 'Building Bridges through Art' was interpreted in many creative and wonderful ways.
This year's Annual Art Show was a great success with so many staff and families coming together to celebrate children's creativity and understanding of the theme 'Building Bridges through Art'. This metaphor explores how bridges between ourselves and our friends, family or even the environment, can be either "built" or "broken" by actions or words. Many centres chose to explore this theme through works on Aboriginal culture, recognising the important connection between Aboriginal people and country, a bridge that is central to many Aboriginal people's identity.
Gorton house explored this theme by learning about the dreamtime story of the rainbow serpent Goorialla, a significant story for many Aboriginal people in Australia, and also looked at the refugee crisis being experienced around the world (many bridges between people and their friends and families, and even their home countries, have been broken), and how they felt Australia and it's people should respond to the crisis.
The rainbow serpent is such a significant story to Aboriginal people, and the story of Krishna and Kaliya is a significant story to Indian people. Gorton Preschoolers learned about Krishna and Kaliya through one of the preschoolers who loves to tell stories about Indian culture and his heritage, building bridges through learning each other's stories. The children read the story frequently, and began to draw it, which soon led to the idea to make a sculpture of Kaliya for the art show, as well as a rainbow serpent.
Another focus of Gorton House was the environment, explored through a project looking at Arctic environments and how these have been threatened by human activity and climate change.
Johnson House Preschool children investigated Aboriginal symbols, and how these have been used for communication for thousands of years. Exploring the idea of drawing Aboriginal symbols on bark, the children painted some wooden offcuts using the colours of the Aboriginal flag. A range of materials sourced from Reverse Garbage were used in a creative recycling project, where children used synthetic corks to make different coloured rings inside some cardboard drum lids. Children then replicated their own versions of the works using other materials.
Johnson preschoolers had developed an interest in weaving through last year's art show, and this continued following a donation of ribbons and material offcuts from a parent. The children were further inspired when learning about the work of the Tjanpi Desert Weavers, using the techniques to create their own colourful display of woven artworks.
The Robot was created over several weeks during 'Robot workshops'. Children had expressed an interest in robots, particularly through loose parts play, where they would use found materials to construct various things, including robots. The children worked together using recycled materials to make a robot, building connections as they collaborated and developed confidence in modelling, demonstrating, explaining through shared thinking and problem solving.
Johnson House Toddlers learned about two Aboriginal dreamtime stories - "How The Birds Got Their Colours" and "Dunbi The Owl". Children used paint and textas to create their own birds from the story, discussing what was taking place in each illustration. The children discovered that as each of the birds were kind to the black dove, they "got their colours". This activity built their understanding of how kindness can build bridges between us, and also enabled them to collaborate in painting the canvases, building connections with their peers.
Rigby House children used pictures of faces to explore how people express their feelings through facial expressions, using different colours which they identified as either 'happy' or 'sad' to represent how they were feeling - connecting children with their own and each other's feelings. Children also made planes out of clay and wooden sticks after watching the planes overhead, an interest that was then expanded on following some children going on plane trips. The children were able to feel connected to their world through discussions and projects about travel.
During the many walks that Rigby children took all over the grounds of The Infants' Home, they began to collect objects including natural materials like flowers and leaves. These were later arranged and photographed as ephemeral art that could be preserved using photography - building connections to the natural world. An exploration of the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags led to a mixed media work using recycled yarn and oil pastels, and again the rainbow snake featured in several paintings, evidence of the growing understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture at Rigby House.
Murray House continued their project of looking at how the leaves fall, enhancing their connections with the natural world. Their body parts project enabled toddlers to build their sense of identity, and their lanturn project was inspired by learning about chinese lanterns and chinese culture.
Children in Robinson House explored communities by looking at and building different types of houses to represent the diversity of places in which we live. Environmental sustainability was another area of interest (building bridges to the future), looking at recycling and reusing materials using bottle top art, and making a recycling truck and a police station. Robinson House also used food as way of building bridges between different communties, with children sharing in cooking experiences making foods from all over the world - photographs of these experiences were displayed at the show.
Family Day Care interpreted the theme in various ways in their hubs across Sydney. Our Northern Beaches hub looked at the idea of Family Day Care being a bridge between home and care.
Our St George hub completed some projects on Aboriginal culture, discussing the following: “Why build a bridge, what is the advantage?” Upon reflection they decided we need a bridge so we can stand together as one with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.
Our Inner West hub explored people from different cultures around the world - building bridges across the planet!
The Randwick/South Sydney hub completed a bee project, stemming from one child boy asking his educator about bees one day. His educator took this interest further, and an activity was arranged for the next playgroup where children made honeycomb prints using paint and bubblewrap. This activity led to discussings about bees, tasting the honey from beehives at the Randwick office, and further discussions around bees, nectar and pollination and the bridges between all living things.
Thanks to the staff who volunteered many hours of their time to prepare the displays, set up the stalls and provide a delicious barbeque for all of the attendees.
Thank you to Gorton House director Mel Van Grimbergen and Rigby House director Isa Holmes for their hard work in organising this event. Many months of planning went into it, and it showed!
Our Annual Art Show and Art and Play Program have received generous support for many years from an anonymous foundation. The Infants' Home is thankful for the opportunities this support has given us to provide an enriching art program and annual celebration of children's creativity.
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