Waringa Park School
The completed animals……..
They did a great job
Warringa Park is a dual mode school which caters for all children with an intellectual disability and has a current enrolment of 431 students. (Taken from their website)
I am there every Wednesday this term working with 4 classes from the middle years to create 3d sculptures/lanterns of endangered species for their end of year performance “Walk on the Wild Side”
The event is during the day so they won’t be internally lit….
It has been a crazy journey….maybe a little ambitious but now they are made and papered and ready to be decorated ….
It’s ‘Community Arts Day’
and I’m sitting in my studio reflecting on the last 3 months,
As I dither about, flicking through other web sites I find that on this day
Neil Cameron has published a book “The Cultural Development Handbook. An A to Z guide to designing successful arts events in the community “
Neil was the man who introduced me to the world of fire, lanterns and large outdoor community events. I worked with him for 7 years at the Woodford Folk Festival and in a few other places.
That time was wild, adventurous massive, exhausting, exhilarating and the foundation of so much of what I have done since.
In fact, I returned to Woodford this year to create the opening ceremony (with Jyllie Jackson and Kate McDonald). The ceremony was built from tools and philosophies I have learnt from Neil (and others who i meet through Neil and worked with on other projects) I felt that the opportunity I was given this year was a result of the work and time that has been layered into the festival by Neil and all the fabulous artists that worked with him, and those that followed….. over the last 25 years often with limited resources. I thank Neil and everyone else who has been a part of that journey for their time, wisdom, blood, sweat and tears!!
Also here is the video i have finally finished for last years INTO THE LIGHT event.
This was the 3rd INTO THE LIGHT, a community arts event working with the bush fire affected community in Whittlesea and surrounding areas.
A lantern parade was again the spine to the event. Workshops were run in 12 schools in the area plus a number of community workshops. We created a finale with Ian Hunter, the indigenous elder for the area, based on Bungil the eagle and how he became a star.
The core local artist group that we worked with to create the event built a beautiful bird puppet, that became Bungilina, a cross between a Phoenix, rising from the ashes, and Bungil the creator spirit.
We stared with an afternoon of games and activities, including a showing of the Blacksmith tree (this is a very special project that grew out of the fires… blacksmiths from all around the world sent leaves to the fire affected communities after the 2009 fires… and now it is a tree
Our own lantern tree, revamped from the year before was dressed in leaves holding the hopes, dreams wishes of the community. We ran out of leaves. There was a strong desire/need to connect with this process. Some of the leaves were heartbreaking, and showed us that there is still a need in the community for this work,that the burn’s are still hurting, many below the surface, and many people still trying to rebond with themselves, their families, their partners and searching for peaceful place to exist.
This series of projects have been very powerful for me, seeing and feeling the great importance of community art. It does have a place, it is a gentle and inclusive, non threatening process that is more than a nice activity, but actually essential in unlocking trapped memories/pain and creating new pathways, and so so so important.
June has been an exciting month.
Into the lIght – The Unfolding Story won a national Local Government award for active arts.
This was very exciting, a great acknowledgement for us and the community and for everyone that participated and helped to create this magical event…..
needless to say it will happen again this year.
Unfortunately i couldn’t join Mahony and Lee in Canberra to collect the award as i was once again wrangling 2300 people for the Lismore Lantern Parade. Which was amazing.
The shift to Oaks Oval was massive, and while there were a few teething problems, the show was magnificent. The weather was divine on the day and we all worked really hard to make it happen! (that goes without saying really!)
here are some beautiful photos of the show c/o natsky
and more photos from the local papers!
I’m now back in Melbourne, attempting to restore the emptied energy glass and prepare for the next Into the Light which we are beginning to plan in Whittlesea Township……..
and so it continues……
On a personal exploration i am also learning pottery, and have a collection of reasonably ugly olive pip bowls…..
and some not so ugly pieces
i look forward to the first cup I can drink a coffee from
and the first bowl I actually eat breakfast out of.
was held on the 1st of September at the Whittlesea Showgrounds
in Whittlesea, Victoria.
In follow up to last years event…. INTO THE LIGHT-The Unfolding Story was made up of a lantern parade with 12 primary schools from the Whittlesea, Kinglake, Flowerdale and Nillimbick Communities,
video projections that filled the side of the cattleshed,
a 30 meter shadow play
and so much more……..
Here is the video of the night……..
was Williamstown Festival,
i coordinated a lantern parade and created a choreography with 18 seagull puppet lanterns (and ran a few schools workshops to make some of the 500 pyramid lanterns that were created for the event)
Due to events beyond my control (insurance and ignorance mostly) the candles were replaced with torches.
My favourite response to this when i was explaining to a school group was ” but isn’t it tradition to light the candle”
yes indeed it is tradition,
and may it stay that way in times to come.
Lead by a pipe band, it was an event very much enjoyed by parents and community members. yay!
The photos below were taken by one of the parents.