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Crowdys Hill School Project
Rata And The Tree

Crowdys Hill School Project, Rata and the Tree.

A mural based on the New Zealand story of Rata and the tree, a young warrior that wanted to save his tribe from the onslaught of bad weather on the island that they resided on. Rata came up with the idea to carve a large boat from an ancient tree to carry his tribe to another more habitable island. Rata chose the perfect tree for his venture but unfortunately he forgot to give thanks to the forest for the use of the tree. The insects and creatures of the forest weren't happy with Rata's forgetfulness, so every evening they put the tree back together until he remembered to give thanks for the use of the tree. Only then was he able to continue to fulfill his venture.  

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Above is the proposed idea for the mural, leaves to be painted and messaged by the students plus spaces to be left in the branches for ongoing pieces of artwork, by the students to be displayed. 

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The next stage was sculpting the insects and creatures in the story that put the tree back together to be made by the students of the school.

Instructional videos were created by myself for the students to create these weeks before my arrival for the mural, plus leaf blanks were cut for the students to paint and message onto.

The next stage was to prep the area for the mural, a quick clean of the brick wall and then primed for the sketching out of the design. Designed to be as a colouring book for the students to paint.

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Over a 100 students arrived in small groups over the week to then paint the mural. Once we were happy that the base artwork was complete, we then moved onto the next stage of applying all of the leaves that the students had created.

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The final stage was to then put in place all of the wonderful creatures that the students had created, I must admit the level of creations, and some with their own ideas, was of very high standard indeed.

Some of the amusing expressions on the creatures and just the sheer quality kept me smiling throughout this stage.

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What an amazing project overall!

All the staff and students made me feel at home from the first to the last minute of this project, something to be proud of just in that respect. 

A huge thank you to my talented assistant and muralist Chloe, not forgetting Donna and Sue who made this project possible and for their hard work and input for organising the smooth running of our creation.

One of my favourite moments was being able to sit in with Donna's class at the end of the day, ending each day with a song and a dance was just the best!

I will miss all of you, Thank you :)