Thursday, November 29, 2012

Textile Art @ Bradford School

I spent a wonderful week at Bradford Primary School working with textile processes to enhance one of the school's rooms into a meeting place. We looked  artists Tracey Tawhiao, Richard Killeen, Cliff Whiting and Reuben Paterson along with Pacific Tapa and Maori tattoo designs for inspiration.

We had various goals - making curtains which displayed the school values and whanau groups: Pikorua   - Friendship, Koru – New life, Matau – leadership/determination and Manawa- Heart. (5 year olds did these - painting with pieces of plastic in a palette knife fashion and then overprinting symbols with foam stamps they made.)

We looked at the Three Baskets of Knowledge legend: the kete - aroni which held all the knowledge that could help mankind, the kete-tuauri which held the knowledge of ritual, memory and prayer and the kete-tuatea which contained knowledge of evil or makutu , which was harmful to mankind.   We made our three kete's by wrapping fabric around sticks - here are two  of them. Rooms 3 and 4 made the insects and birds that the blown to earth by the wind in the legend. Thanks to Elizabeth Marshall who came in and helped with this project and provided wire which we used for the handles. 

These details are of a ceiling to floor artwork of the poutama pattern panel which Room 5 collectively painted/stamped and screenprinted. The pattern represents 'steps of learning' and so numbers and letters were included along with direct printing of some of the leaves from the school environment.

 We also had the goal of making  Polynesian themed patches which were made a variety of ways – painting, screen-printing and stamping. I especially loved the cut paper stencil work. These now decorate curtains and cushions and some are 'patched together in large wall hangings -this one photographed in situ by the mirror. 

School librarian Gill said I had to be in one of the i am with my two scarves on!  I appreciated help from staff member Val in helping sew these patches onto the curtains. We also worked on a mural thinking about the Tane Mahuta legend
 - with plans to finish it next year - phew! I so enjoyed all the responsive pupils, parent helpers and the explosion of colour.