The importance of trees in our lives and our Artist in Residence, Sarah Rowe

‘Trees are the largest manifestation of the life-force we see. No two trees are the same, like us. We’re all a little bit different inside and look a little bit different outside. You notice that more in winter than in the summer… Trees become friends.’ David Hockney
Last week we realized that many students held a deep connection with nature through trees. This led to our examination of the importance of trees in our lives, prompted by the above quote by artist David Hockney.
After brainstorming our thoughts and feelings about trees, the students created this:
Trees are our Life Force
They give oxygen. They have leaves and dew drops after the rain. They have branches, twigs, roots, bark and flowers. Trees give us food, fruit and blossom. They house creatures, nests and birds and insect life, spider webs and bees. They have a strong trunk and roots. They shelter us and provide shade.
Trees are our life Force
They breathe out what we breathe in
They are tall and strong and are often the tallest living things around you
Trees bring life force to everything and have the power and strength to make the world
My tree gives me strength to go through hard times
My tree gives me courage
Trees hold us together…
We spent the week exploring the life force of trees. We noticed how each tree was so different.

After this amazing week of discovery about the importance of trees in our lives and the realization that our connection with nature was an important aspect of our lives during lockdown, we had the wonderful opportunity of welcoming Sarah Rowe, our Artist in Residence, into our learning lives….
Sarah is working with us in the medium of collage.
Here is some of her work…

We are using collage as a medium because it is so much about many different things and layers of paper and message coming together, bound by glue, forming one whole.
When we work on collage, we can work on some part of it and come back to it.
We can use many papers and colours, patterns and marks to build up a picture.
Collages are made of many parts that come together with glue. Each separate part only makes sense when it is glued together to make a whole.
The medium of collage is the unique and wonderful medium that allows us to bring together the many ideas, thoughts, and feelings students have experienced to create a single image. This reflects and symbolizes our collective endeavour to both acknowledge and celebrate our many experiences and feelings in a collective artwork as a part of the arts festival.
This week we began by creating our own papers for the collage. We explored colour and experienced the sheer joy of colour mixing!
It was great fun making random colours!
I loved mixing the colours and seeing the drops of ink spreading over the paper.
It was the surprise of mixing colour and never knowing what we were making that was so much fun!
Year 1 Sia

Colour is happiness! “We linked our colours to the symbol we are developing that represents our Covid experience” “This allows our brains to explore our thoughts through colour and collage…” Sam, (Prep Amy)

Students were overcome with joy when they worked on the simple task of painting the collage papers and experimenting with colour and colour mixing.

Seb(Prep Amy) said that “he loved the way you could out colour on top of other colours and the way you could stamp the paper on top of another sheet of paper to make a copy of it.”

The joy of making coloured papers using high pigmented ink and paint medium has resulted in shouts of joy and exclamations of sheer surprise in the unexpected outcomes.

This is an example of how simple acts of exploration in visual art can have profound effects on mood and experience.

We thank Sarah for the opportunity to explore feelings and thoughts and experiences through colour and collage. We are excited to see how the next part of our Inquiry unfolds…

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