All schools have an emblem, but few have their very own creation myth.
Students at Delacombe Primary School have been tapping deep down into the wells of their creativity over the past few months, ditching their iPads, and looking instead to native Australian animals for inspiration.
They have now created their own creation legend with the help of Ballarat indigenous art group, the Pitcha Makin Fellas.
The Fellas are well-known in the art world for their indigenous works and murals, which have emblazoned the likes of Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building and on the guernseys of the Western Bulldogs.
Over the past few months, they have been working with Delacombe’s students to tease out of them some inspired indigenous stories, as well as five large-scale artworks.
Program director Jessica Burns said the school had been lucky enough to secure the Fellas for eight days of workshops and artistic leadership through a Creative Victoria artists in residence grant.
Miss Burns said the experience had done wonders for the students, including the school’s population of 20 Koori children, giving them a sense of school spirit and self-esteem.
“We’ve seen a vast improvement in student writing. It gives them a good connection to the school because they’ve written stories that will represent our school for a long time,” she said.
“Even from the art perspective, the students have loved working in collaboration with people they’d not normally work with and getting new strategies.”
The main artwork, of a kookaburra, will be exhibited in the school’s learning centre alongside the creation myth written by students.
Four other works – featuring a crocodile, a kangaroo, an emu and a red-bellied snake – will also be displayed, along with a number of framed stories.
Miss Burns said the student had learned how to find inspiration from within, rather than from computers.
“They loved the creative side of it, what the animals represent and what they would visualise if they were looking at them.”
This Friday, the school will launch its new indigenous artworks in a special ceremony including storytelling and a visit from City of Ballarat mayor Des Hudson and representatives from Creative Victoria.
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