Term: 1 Year: 2012

The Story of Arthur…
From the Arts Festival at Box Hill North Primary School 2011

The students at Box Hill North Primary School and Kindergarten showcased their skills and creative talents in the Visual and Performing Arts during a weeklong exhibition. It was launched with an exciting Opening Ceremony where the students stepped into character as ‘living statues’, played musical instruments, and performed original dances for the whole school community. The Gallery opened that evening, allowing parents and friends the chance to enjoy the many artworks on display, pieces that had taken all year to create.

During that week, additional activities kept the students engaged. An exciting opportunity saw the addition of weatherman, David Brown, filming Saturday night’s weather report from the Gallery whilst the students were working on two special projects, using only recycled materials and equipment. The students from years three to six worked together painting and decorating plastic bottles to make the ‘Hanging Gardens of Box Hill North PS’, while those in the younger classes, stylized brown paper lunch bags to create a new skin for ‘Arthur’ the giant lizard.

Arthur was created in response to the story ‘Art & Max’ written and illustrated by David Wiesner, a tale about two reptile friends exploring the world of painting! So Arthur came to life…he was constructed by two Grade 6 students shaping and joining Pahang Cane with Gaffer Tape to make his skeleton. When we looked at the huge pile of brown paper bags, left over from the school lunches made by ‘Miss Peppercorn’, the making of Arthur’s skin and scales became clearly obvious! By painting and overlapping these bags then gluing them onto the frame, we very quickly created Arthur’s double!

On the morning of the whole school’s visual arts program, all the students in the Prep classes sponged different shades of brown paints onto the bags, experimenting with a variety of patterns and shapes. At the same time, the students in Grades 1 and 2 used filters and stamp printed paints onto their paper bags producing very colourful designs.

During the ‘open’ afternoon whilst parents and friends wandered through the gallery they paused to watch a small group of students layering and gluing the scales on Arthur’s skeleton. On the back of Arthur, the brown bags were attached so that he looked like himself, brownish, scaly and realistic. His tummy on the other hand, was an explosion of colour, where Max had splattered him with a myriad of coloured paints!

Arthur had a change of heart after his crazy experiences with his friend Max. He was very happy to join his friend and continue their journey together… Arthur’s face, made with egg cartons, shows great pleasure. He can be seen batting his fringed brown paper bag eyelashes with pride!

The staff and students at Box Hill North Primary School are particularly focused on sustainability as a major part of the school’s charter. The ‘Green Team’ is continually working towards further reducing the amount of waste products and energy and recycling a wide range of left over materials.

The Festival culminated with a spectacular musical performance to a large parent audience where ‘Arthur’ made his first public appearance.

Michele Freeland-Small
Visual Arts Coordinator
Box Hill North PS
Suitable for Levels 1 – 4