Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Threatened Species Day - art4place artists get into action

Threatened Species Day is celebrated annually on 7 September as part of International Biodiversity Month in September. The event was held in the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens on 1 September 2013.

Art4place was invited to join with the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens to hold a number of activities that would raise awareness of species that are endangered; ways we can help to support endangered species; and deal with animals and activities that are a threat. Art4Place worked with Gecko Wildlife and the Art and Ecology Centre at the Maroochy Bushland Botanical Gardens to make 2013 Fun Fathers day a great success with families having a great time learning about the environment and picking up new skills in clay, drawing, painting, woodwork, and just plain getting crafty together. The focus of the day was the tiny Feathertailed Glider.

Activities included: making flying Feather Tailed and Powerful Owl Gliders (Noela Mills); making pouch pals for Feather Tailed Gliders (Heather Gall); creating awareness of the danger of feral cats by making and tracking down a mass of bad bad feral cats (Jim Cox); making clay Feathertail Gliders (Cathy Lawley); creating Feathertailed Glider houses from recycled wood (Edith-Ann Murray and James Crowther); painting Powerful Owls on boxes (Christine Elcoate).

Parental approval has been given for the use of photos of children used in this blog post. In the main photos were taken by Noela Mills.

A steady stream of children with parents following made FLYING feather tailed gliders and powerful owls. They were made from A4 heavy weight paper which Noela had photocopied with images of gliders and powerful owls. Instructions were provided, so that several designs could be created. Parents and kids then had fun seeing which creature would fly the furthest and straightest. A few budding engineers even modified the designs to create more efficient aerodynamics

Another great workshop on the endangered species circuit was with visual artist Heather Gall making pouch pals for the Feathertailed Glider. The participants learnt about size and eating habits of the glider to fit into their pouch.  Drawing with charcoal and pastel pencils we had making a recycled pouch to wear was a lot of fun.  The finished pouch pals sporting their small Feathertailed Gliders looked great at the exhibition which was held in the Art and Ecology Centre at Tanawha during the school holidays.

Lots of feral cats were turning up everywhere chasing down the Feather Tailed Glider.  Well known artist Jim Cox told all the children making this BAD BAD predator of the Feather Tailed Glider all about how bad they have become in wiping out this tiny helpless creature.  A lot of fun was had making an installation of a circle of feral cats on mass, with a poor little Feather Tailed Glider on a  stick in the centre.  The cute little Feathertailed Glider on the post in the photo below was made by James Crowther.

The kids had a great time on the feral cat hunt , tracking down the paw prints in the Sculpture garden looking for hidden bad bad cats to bring back to the enclosure and get them out of the bush.

Learning about the Powerful Owl as a predator of the Feathertail Glider was fun. Learning through creativity is the best way to do it. The children painted lots of Powerful Owls on recycled tomato cartons. They got to make a huge wall of owls to make a statement about how powerful they are when on the attack to catch their favourite tid bit “The Feathertail Glider”.

Edith-Ann Murray and James Crowther worked with the children to make safe houses for the Feathertailed Gliders. Some of the houses made their way into the September Ecology Centre Exhibition; and others made their way home to children's houses to be placed in the tress.

And of course what learning would be complete if you didn't make a Feathertailed Glider? So Cathy Lawley invited the children to get their hands in the mud and make ceramic gliders.

Many of the things children made on the day contributed to the creation of an exhibition in the Art and Ecology Centre at Tanawha during the school holidays so that the environmental message could continue to be shared with other children, their parents and the general public throughout International Bio-diversity Month - September.

Art4place was proud to be a partner with the SCC, the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens  and the Art and Ecology Centre at Tanawha in raising awareness of environmental issues through temporary community placemaking art. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Recognition for an art4place artist

In May Christine Elcoate, a member of the art4place management committee, was recognised by Rotary for her contribution to the arts in the Sunshine Coast area.

Christine is a very active member of art4place and has been the driving force behind art4place’s temporary placemaking art events such as at Festuri and in Creative Spaces 2012.

You can see Christine in action in the photos below.

Christine marshalling the Sister City Festuri Dragon
Christine working with children creating wings for the reenactment of the flight of the endangered Glossy Blacvk Cockatoo
Christine - the Rainbow Serpent storyteller
Chistine (right) with another art4place artist Cathy Lawley at an art4place social gathering
Art4place is proud to have such community minded artists such as Christine as members. Congratulations Christine and thanks for creating placemakng art and community.

Art4place artists doing community art in Japan

In May a number of art4place members (Noela, Christine, Fiona and Barry) travelled to Japan as part of a Sunshine Coast-Tatebayashi Sister City art-cultural exchange.

The Sister City activities included taking part in a citizen’s festival and visiting a range of artists’ studios.

While in Japan the exchange group also carried out a day of art with Ichikai Elementary School (IES) as part of a response to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan by Sunshine Coast artists and the SCC. Ichikai was pretty badly impacted by the earthquake. Artists and the SCC had raised funds to buy art materials for some artists to replace those lost in the earthquake and tsunami. An Australian potter (Euan Craig) and his wife who lived and in Ichikai and who had lost his house, studio and kiln facilitated the arrangements with IES and the day’s activities.

The IES activity was not placemaking art but it did tell a story of Australia’s Indigenous people through the Rainbow Sepent dreaming story; and it demonstrated, in a tangible artistic way, the concern of Australian artists for people of Japan.

All 290 children in the IES participated in: listening to the reenactment of the Rainbow Serpent story; making the Rainbow Serpent’s head and body; making serpent mobiles; and making book marks of animals and birds in the story.

Telling the Rainbow Serpent story
Artwork to the body of the serpent
Making bookmarks
Making Rainbow Serpent mobiles
Putting the Rainbow Serpent head in place
Decorations on the serpent body
Decorations on the serpent body
Getting the Rainbow Serpent ready for action
Rainbow Serpent tours the assembly hall
The funds raised were presented to the IES and education department and were to be shared across three elementary schools in the Ichikai area. The children said the day brought them much hope and joy; the artists said they were humbled by the day and the joy that art can offer to a community.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Placemaking walkway

©2013 Barry Smith - Lomandra Longifolia cut-out in the Maleny IGA walkway roof
About two years ago when Sam and Rob Outridge decided to build a wet weather covered walkway as part of the upgrade of Maleny IGA they wanted it to be more than just a functional covered way. Whilst the covered walkway had to shelter shoppers and visitors from the rain and sun as they made their way down the laneway between the Maleny IGA and Credit Union; but it could also provide an opportunity for local artists to add a touch of community art; and the pathway could tell part of the story that is Maleny.

Sam and Rob invited art4place to become partners in the design of the covered walkway. Art4place consulted its 30 plus members; and 5 design concepts were put forward. Sam and Rob decided to go with a design that combined elements from designs by Barry Smith, Edith-Ann Murray and Fiona Dempster. This design tells a story of some of the history and environmental aspects of Maleny. Designs and plans went through many modifications to meet different planning, engineering, structural, budget and construction requirements.

©2013 Barry Smith - Walkway after rain - cascading water and Lomandra Longifolia light on the path
The 50-metre long and 3-metre wide covered walkway incorporates a newly laid even concrete pathway; a series of overlapping free standing shelters covered with rusted Corten steel that channel the rain in a series of cascades towards a waterfall feature with large chains at the car park end of the pathway; a series of Lomandra Longifolia cutouts in the roof; and Perspex covers bolted over the cutouts to let the light through and keep the rain out.

©2013 Barry Smith - Walkway after rain - cascading water 
The rusted Corten steel and bolts reminds us of the water tanks used by the early dairy farmers; the roof that shelters and channels the water in a series of cascades and ends in a waterfall is a artistic representation of the water of the Obi Obi Creek and Gardners Falls; the Lomandra Longifolia is an important native plant in the area that stabilises banks and acts to mitigate erosion;  and the chains in the waterfall feature hark back to the horses and bullocks and chains used to haul timber and produce.

©Barry Smith - Fractured Lomandra Longifolia light - sunlight through water on perspex
The Maleny IGA covered walkway is not only functional; but it creates a community place and piece of community art in Maleny that tells a part of the Maleny story to visitors and locals alike.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Creative Spaces publication

As part of the acquittal for the grant provided by the Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) for Creative Spaces 2012 Fiona Dempster created a 37 page blog book of the whole event.

Shown below are the cover and a couple of openings of the book to give an idea of the quality, form and content of the book.

Basically the book includes the content and photos of all the blog posts that reported on the Creative Spaces 2012 event from the announcement of the receipt of the grant from the SCC right through to the last event - the art4place end of year celebration and launch of Peace in the Trees at Maleny Retreat.

The blog book provides a great record of the event; recognises the artists who participated; and provides the SCC with a unique record for grant acquittal purposes.