Giant Grass

Week 9- Repairing the damage and vandalism to our structure…

The following statement was read out to the assembly after the very sad news that we received on Monday that our bamboo structure had been vandalised over the weekend…

two weekends ago the year 3/4 Artist in Residence Art Installation, designed and made by the 3/4 students was vandalised. This is the project that has been constructed next to the basketball court. Some bamboo poles were loosened, some smashed and others removed and have gone missing. This weakened the whole structure and it has needed a lot of work to make it strong again.

Munir, from Giant Grass, and two awesome parent helpers, Antonia and Joanna, spent the whole day last Thursday fixing it.

The repairs and materials have cost nearly $1,000.

We have talked a lot about it and just can’t work out why anyone would do this.

By placing a work of art in the grounds of our school, we hoped to provide a gift to the students, parents, families and residents that make up our community.

The art work was designed to be a safe place, where children and people can sit and play together quietly and happily. It was meant to be a place for everyone to share and enjoy.

We are all very saddened by the destruction of this beautiful art work.

We don’t understand why the person or people did this, but we understand that they may feel sad that it happened. So, calling on our school values of one community and strong and resilient children, we send a message to the person or people that did this; to make things right again.

How can a person or people make right the wrong that has been done?

They can do this by looking after it, caring for it and protecting it from now on.

Our community asks if you know anyone that might have done this, or see anyone damaging it, you ask them to stop.

In the meantime, the 3/4 students will be resilient and strong and will keep going. We will re-build the art installation and we will make it strong again, and we will finish it.

Let’s all work together as one community to make this happen.

Week 9

This week, the ¾ students demonstrated their strength and resilience and worked hard all day on Tuesday to complete their repaired structure. It was amazing.

They re-dug the trenches for the tail of the spiral.


They sanded all the exposed tops of the bamboo pieces.

They painted the top nodes and ends of the bamboo to protect it from water damage. We chose the colour, orange for this. This colour also served as a safety measure.

They then sawed more bamboo for the roof of the square section of the structure and installed the roof.

They re-created the spiral tail and added the smiley faces addition to the structure. This was a response that emerged from the damage last week. The students wanted to create something positive out of what happened…..

Here is the completed work…

The students then reflected on their work and spoke about what creating this public art work meant to them….

Student Reflections:

It was exciting to collaborate and bring our ideas together to come up with something so big. Griffin

I am proud, I know that every time I walk past it I know that I helped to make it. Ruben

I felt amazing to collaborate with a designer and designing and building such an amazing building. Hugo

Before the space was not a key spot in the playground, but now it’s an exciting and the bamboo structure makes it more special. It’s not a metal thing it’s a natural thing. Bamboo lasts and we haven’t cut down big trees and hurt the environment. It doesn’t take a long time for bamboo to grow back. Wei Dong

It was amazing create a design and then see it in real life. Kane

Before the space was an empty space that no one really used. Now it’s a space that people can enjoy. Fin

It was really fun and exciting to build a structure and I feel really proud to be involved. Harriet

I never thought we would be building a playground. I was surprised when we found out that we were building a playground. I was shocked because we never really do anything like this, we normally build small structures. Giorgiana

I wasn’t here for half of the time. When I left the space was just dirt…. When I came back, there was a whole structure being built and I was surprised to find that the ¾’s were building it. Poppy

It was amazing for us to build a playground. It was a once in a lifetime experience. It was great to work with professionals making an amazing structure. Marta

I feel lucky to have this opportunity and I think it was a really good idea to make the sculpture in this playground area because it was a bit boring before. Grace

I was so happy that we built it, because it used to be a plain space and we made the structure out of environmentally friendly materials. Daniel

I felt very lucky to be working with Munir and I really enjoyed it. Chloe

Whole class skills reflections:

I learnt how to saw and drill. How to protect the bamboo from rotting by painting tar and bitumen paint to protect it.

I learnt that there are many different ways to make sculptures.

I learnt a lot of weird stuff like bamboo is stronger than steel.

We learnt properly how to design strong structures.

We learn about building a prototype and structure, and how to create through team effort and how to work together sharing ideas. Building the models we learnt that you don’t always need to join building together using metal. You can join things together with rope and bamboo straps.

I have never worked with a professional builder before and I have never built something for my school before.

We feel:



Very lucky

Extremely happy

Amazed that I have done this!

Inspired and amazed

Happy that we never gave up.


Just happy.

Nice that we can all work as a team together.

Excited we finally did it and accomplished it.

Extremely proud

It was so nice to work as a whole team without disagreement and we now know that we built this playground.

I feel amazed that we achieved this, we had a setback but we got through it.

The whole thing warmed my heart and I feel sad that we won’t be doing it any more.

I feel sad it is over….

Our PHPS Giant Grass Artist Residency demonstrates the heart of what public art represents: That it is an ’accessible work…that cares about, challenges, involves and consults the audience for or with whom it was made, respecting community and environment.”

Lucy Lippard

Thank YOU! Year ¾ students… You have created an awesome piece of public art…

A special thank you to Deb Kayser, Munir and Mittul Vahanvati, Antonia Peric, Amanda Rose, Eleanor Williams and Joanna Stanley…


Hannah Rother-Gelder

Visual Art teacher

Artist in Residence Co-ordinator

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