Stitching Wenona’s family tree
Our Junior School has been busy making bunting that represents each girl’s family tree. Every triangle will form part of a Junior School Family Tree Bunting to be exhibited at the School.
It’s been a busy start to Term 3 for Visual Arts Teachers, Ms Lewington and Ms Sinclair, and Kindergarten Administration Assistant, Ms Edwards whose incredible sewing skills have been in high demand! They’ve been coordinating a Year 6 Community Family Tree Bunting project, which will be on display – both virtually and at the Junior School Summer Art Show 2021 later this year.
The idea for a Kindergarten to Year 6 Family Tree Bunting came out of a desire to find a community-based arts projects that would reflect each student’s family background, culture, identity and aspirations. It would be a highly visual representation of the Junior School as a closely connected learning community, documenting our shared heritage, and bringing every student – and their family – together by providing a platform for them to share their stories and their histories.
To kickstart the project, each family was given a calico triangle, along with suggestions on how to decorate it, using graphite pencils, oil pastels, paint, fabric, photos, glitter, glue and lots of imagination and creativity. The Visual Arts Teachers also provided a video with instructions and of course, were on hand to provide virtual guidance and advice if needed.
In order to get inspiration for their individual bunting, each student spoke to their families, workshopping ideas and reflecting on their family background and how they could bring it to life visually. They sketched out some ideas on paper and spent time searching around their houses – and online – for different materials they could use.
Over the last few weeks, each student has posted her bunting in to Ms Edwards, who has had her sewing machine set up in the Library. Some of the Junior School students who are on campus because their parents are essential workers have been helping Ms Edwards with the sewing and learning how to use the sewing machine at the same time.
Issy in Year 3 has really enjoyed this project. She said, “At home, we often draw this little motif when writing messages to each other. It’s like our family’s personal symbol.” She started off by designing her bunting on a piece of paper and then had chat to her mum about the colours and materials they could use to bring her design to life. Issy’s mum painted the front of her bunting purple and then painted the back pink. Once it was dry, Issy focused on transferring her design from paper to the bunting, carefully marking it up. “Mum used double running stitches to hand sew the motif and then she stitched the words,” explained Issy. “Some of the letters weren’t easy and the small infinity symbols challenged Mummy’s patience at times, but it was worth it. Mum glitter-glued the sun and I did the double running stitch and long stitch to hand sew the sun’s rays. We had to do a final coat of pink paint on the back to cover the stitch work and even up the tone. We then used scissors to trim the edges of the calico.”
The Wenona Junior School Family Tree Bunting is really taking shape and bringing the cultures, personal histories, values and traditions of the Junior School alive. It will be a great way of helping each student understand that we all experience the world differently and that we are part of an international community of learners, with diverse backgrounds.
We look forward to sharing the Family Tree Bunting with you when it is finished.