The Golden Wattle of Australia

Term: 2 Year: 2013

At the end of winter, in the school gardens and areas surrounding Ivanhoe, many species of the golden wattle are blooming.

This beautiful, native flower and national emblem of Australia provided the inspiration for a Visual Arts unit in Year 2 at Buckley House, Ivanhoe Grammar School.

Children were introduced to the artworks of Australian artist Clifton Pugh, discussing his story and paintings and his love of the Australian bush and native plants.  Children collected wattle flowers from the ready supply of wattle bushes in the school gardens and were able to discuss colours, shapes, smells, textures and structure of stem & leaves & flowers. Some delightful, still life representations using watercolour pencils resulted.

Children also used assorted materials, cardboard pieces and cotton filters to print pictures of the golden wattle, selecting appropriate colours and focusing on shapes and printing technique.

The main focus of the Unit was a Textile Collage.

Children discussed the threads and textiles (fabrics) to be used in this project, looking at the structure of hessian and felt. They pulled threads from the prepared yellow hessian square to form a decorative fringe. On precut black squares of felt children created a textile collage to represent a wattle sprig using green and yellow felt, small yellow pompoms, gold sequins, wools, and other selected materials.  Throughout this project children developed skills of cutting (shaping), joining (gluing, pinning, sewing) and using the appropriate tools. They also came to understand the structure of different fabrics including hessian and felt.

Children especially enjoyed the challenges of creating their representations of the golden wattle using different media. 

Helena Swain & Kym Leon
Visual Arts Specialist Teachers
Buckley House, Ivanhoe Grammar School
Suitable for level 2