Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hundertwasser: A special project at Albany Kindergarten

This week I had the pleasure of attending a special celebration at Albany Kindergarten. The children and teachers have been involved in developing a project that was inspired by Hundertwasser. Last July, during the holidays the teaching team went on a trip to Kawakawa and Waitangi.. this project has been part of the journey of inspiration that they have been on. Anyone who has been to Kawakawa and seen the Hundertwasser toilets along with the incredible developments in the township that have developed as a result of his work will understand his inspiration. I have had the opportunity to be not only inspired by the work he has carried out in NZ but also to witness many of his projects in Europe, especially the wonderful early childhood settings he designed!

Hundertwasser's bottle wall in the Kawakawa Toilets
Amazespace at Kawakawa is a Hundertwasser inspired project, a community initiative developed by local artists

On Thursday night the kindergarten had a special celebration to open their 'Hundertwasser' and here are a couple of photos of their Hundertwasser Wall! 

A wall of beauty, inspired by Hundertwasser

It was a privilege to join the team in their celebration!
Francine Paniora (the Head Teacher) opened the evening to both welcome everyone, but also to explain a little about the project. Here are Fran's words!

"On behalf of the teaching team at Albany Kindergarten it is my pleasure to welcome you all here to celebrate our  children’s bathroom refurbishment and in particular the Hundertwasser bottle wall. I would like to start off the evening by sharing some thoughts by Friedrick Hundertwasser...

These words resinate to me as I reflect on the collaborate piece of bottle wall work that was designed and created by the children and teachers in our bathroom. This kindergarten is our paradise and one which we utilise respect. and invite those who enters its doors to have ownership of.

For those of you who don’t know Hundertwasser (1928-2000) was a lateral thinker - in his art and architecture as well as his ecological ideas.  He was a pioneer who challenged the world around him. He wanted to make people receptive to beauty and aware of their own creative thoughts and actions. Hundertwasser spent some time in Aotearoa, New Zealand. You may have seen or heard about the famous toilets in Kawakawa that he designed and built. His ideas, values and art were something that we wanted to explore at Albany Kindergarten.

In July 2013 the teaching team ventured to the far north to visit the toilets at Kawakawa and also Waitangi. Coming back inspired we started to work with the children of our kindergarten on this project - the creation of a bottle wall. Exploring Hundertwasser's work, the children and teaching team painted, and worked with three dimensional materials to design our own  bottle wall. There may have been a little drinking involved ( not at kindergarten of course) , and our parents and children brought in an array of bottles that we could use.

We are eternally grateful for Martin Horward's artistic wisdom, meeting with us to discuss the project as it developed and in the final construction process.

We would also like to thank Rosemary and Garth for their support - and letting us run with the idea,  and for the  Albany committee who supported the spending of the money to enable such a project to take place.

I would also personally like to thank my teaching team Michell, Sarah G, Teresa and Julie who embrace such creative ventures, with never a doubt in their mind....

Lastly thank you to the children of Albany Kindergarten who are, and will always be why we as teachers strive to have a programme that embraces and supports learning  and in particular learning through visual arts."