Monday, September 2, 2013

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.

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