Pupils’ combined artwork showcases key messages

Members of Kahu Youth  pose in front of the mural during an after-school painting session last...
Members of Kahu Youth  pose in front of the mural during an after-school painting session last week.PHOTO: SUPPLIED/DEANNA GERLACH
After weeks of planning and several productive after-school painting sessions, a mural at Kāhu Youth’s new meeting space in Paetara Aspiring Central is almost complete.

Wānaka artist Chrissy Wickes, who has overseen the project, said over 100 primary and secondary school pupils were involved in the process from planning to painting, which had included five workshops over five weeks where the aspiring artists were given the opportunity to experiment with different utensils and art styles.

She said her job had been to focus on running the workshops and creating a "mural map" that incorporated the pupils’ key ideas, leaving the actual content of the mural entirely up to the pupils themselves.

"Every single thing that’s on there are the kids’ ideas.

The Kahu Youth Mural nearing completion earlier this week. Only work on the lettering and...
The Kahu Youth Mural nearing completion earlier this week. Only work on the lettering and bordering remained. PHOTO: REGAN HARRIS
"I love letting them lead the process, that’s what I’m kind of about."

Wickes said the project brief (‘What do the youth want to say?’) was "pretty open", leaving plenty of room for the pupils to express themselves.

Each feature on the mural represented a key message the pupils wanted to convey — the prominence of the mountain, river and tree emphasised the importance of place and nature, while the diverse school of fish represented the pupils and their collective educational journey.

Wickes said it had been vital for the work to be completed in a space where pupils were able to collaborate on a project while also feeling comfortable committing their own vision to the canvas.

"It’s so healthy for kids to create in an open and free way."

regan.harris@alliedpress.co.nz

 

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