The entrance to Darebin Parklands in Gooch St Thornbury is marked by a large ugly concrete block.
Friends of Darebin Creek received a small community grant from Darebin Council in 2019-20 to create a mosaic artwork on this structure using upcycled materials. I'm working with the group on the project which we hope will inspire local people to use their creativity and be reconnected to the bushland area.
Early in 2020 we asked for donations of tiles and ceramics to begin the project and received some high quality items.
We were all set to have a mosaic making workshop shop in April. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the plan somewhat but we hope to complete the project before the end of the year with some community involvement, depending on restrictions and whether or not a workshop is permitted.
In the meantime, I am hand cutting and preparing materials for creating the work. We are still keen to get donations of colourful tiles and ceramics from the public and would love to hear from community members who are keen to participate.
Yarralea Children's Centre Project 2019
The Yarralea Children's Centre has been an important part of the Alphington community for decades.
The Centre celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019 and to mark the occasion, I was commissioned to make a mosaic work involving the children, teachers and the parent community. Families donated pre-loved crockery, tiles and other ceramics and this material was used in the work. We created four panels depicting nature scenes from the Darebin Creek and surrounds where the children have their weekly bush kinder sessions. The approach used in creating the work respects the Centre's strong emphasis on nature and integrating it into the lives of children as they play and learn. In making the work we acknowledged the fact that indigenous culture and respect is integral to the philosophy of the Centre. Materials used included upcycled crockery, remnant tiles and ceramics donated from tile stores or renovations. Children aged 3-5, plus teachers came to five different sessions. Pieces were made on mesh and left to dry before being integrated into the work. Children chose to depict trees, flowers, insects, worms, people, birds and nature scenes.
It was great thrill to do this project, as I love working with children and always marvel at the enthusiastic way they work in mosaic. I also enjoy working with communities in a sustainable way. A celebration to unveil the work was held on 17 November 2019.
Please check the Facebook page for close ups of some of the items the children made for the mosaic panels. Yarralea is a not-for-profit, stand-alone community Children's Centre.
In 2018 I led a free community workshop in Macleod allowing people to come along and bring their chipped or broken precious items and make a mosaic. Around 30 attended and many joined in decorating a bed head that was put on display in Macleod Village after the workshop. This project was made possible with a Pinpoint grant from Banyule Council.