Bold and beautiful or muted and shy - all kinds of native birds feature in these inspiring new painted kindergarten murals..
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As part of their bicultural journey, Kidsfirst Hawthornden kindergarten have been thinking about their local environment and what it may have looked like before European settlement.
“The tamariki shared ideas about our local Avonhead environment and also researched on the internet, in the library and through talking to Tangata Whenua,” says Teacher, Catherine Gerslov-Wright. “We then decided we would put some art into our playground which could represent all of our ideas.”
Catherine collaborated with parent and artist, Rebecca Davies-Cowie to create two bold and inspiring murals. One mural represents the swampy areas, that would have been near the Ōtākaro/Avon River, and showcasing our native pukeko, with their brilliant blue black plumage and distinctive red beak and feet.
The other mural combines a view across the Canterbury plains to the snowy Southern Alps with local, native birdlife like kiwi, kereru (wood pigeon) and piwakawaka (fantail) nestled amongst the fern, harakeke, cabbage and kowhai trees.
“Into our murals we incorporated the birds that would have once been in the area – some of which we still see and hear at kindergarten today!” says Catherine.
Another mural was also painted on the shed by a local graffiti artist.
“We shared the knowledge we had gained from our earlier research and the tamariki interest in Maori Legends,” says Catherine. “He produced a pencil sketch which we loved and then painted the shed during the holiday break.”
“The tamariki are really enjoying the art in our environment. They have been inspired to paint and create by the art they can see and are even more interested in the birds they can see and hear around our kindergarten!”
Pukeko, kiwi, kererū and pīwakawaka, feature in the new bold, inspiring native bird murals at Kidsfirst Hawthornden.
Here are some of the children's comments when they returned from term break to find their environment had been enhanced…
“Look… its changed!”
“It’s the shed… decorated with mountains!”
“I love Ra, the sun!”
“I really like the Bellbird… we have those at kindergarten!”
“I like the blue pukeko’s”
KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.