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Colourful Carterton murals beat blues

More than 60 pupils at Carterton School partnered artist Adrian Jackman to create four new murals for the school. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

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There’s nothing quite like colourful murals and the sounds of children’s laughter to beat the covid-19 blues.

More than 60 pupils at Carterton School partnered artist Adrian Jackman to create four new murals as part of the Ministry of Education’s Creatives in Schools programme.

The programme partners creatives with schools for pupils to learn specialist artistic knowledge and practises through collaborating on a project which takes from eight to 20 weeks to complete.

“It’s about creating with confidence,” Jackman said.

The Carterton-based artist studied at Elam School of Fine Arts and specialises in formal-abstractionist paintings.

“My love of art came from my primary school,” Jackman said.

“That sort of thing stays with you.

“You don’t need to spend lots of money to make art.”

The project took about 17 weeks and more than 100 hours, not including prep time, to complete.

It was put on hold just one week after starting due to the country entering Alert Level 4 lockdown due to covid-19, something which ended up being a positive.

“It was quite good coming back from covid-19 because the kids needed a bit of a distraction and something to ease into.”

Jackman said pupils of all ages were involved in creating the mural; from participating in colour-making workshops, to brainstorming, drawing, painting and text making.

“The students all had a participatory role. Everyone got to have a go at something.

“It was sort of like being in my art studio and having lots of assistants.

“My role was really to just guide them in creating with confidence.”

Featuring tui, weka, kotare, and huia birds, as well as native flora and the schools four main education hubs, it explores themes related to the school’s identity.

At over 2.4 metres tall and covered in bright hues, creating the murals was a mammoth task.

“Hopefully, it’s all tools and skills they can use for themselves when making art.”

He said the programme had helped some pupils gain confidence and learn new skills, as well as helping them feel connected through a shared project.

The murals have yet to be hung in the school, but Jackman was hopeful the pupils would feel a sense of pride and joy in looking at them – “colour gives you a lot back”.

He was very supportive of the programme, particularly as many arts programmes had been hit hard by covid-19.

Applications for the second round of Creatives in Schools funding, for projects to be undertaken from Terms 1 to 4 next year, can be made until September 20.

  • More information can be found on the MOE website.

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