Warm & Cold Colours: Natre Dame & Djap Wurrung Trees

Term: 2 Year: 2020

In April 2019 we looked in horror at our screens as Notre Dame got engulfed in flames and money started to flood in to help rebuild this Gothic architectural monument.

At the same time in Australia, the Aboriginal people of Djab Wurrung country were fighting to save sacred trees including an 800-year old birthing tree from being destroyed to build a highway; two highly significant places where people gather in each country. The Year 3 students were studying landmarks in class and in the art room we were looking at warm and cool colours, so I thought it would fit to combine both units together.

In the art room, we discussed both events and the reasons why they were important; a place of gathering going back hundreds and thousands of years – one place being of beautiful man-made architecture and the other a natural wonder. We then looked at warm and cool colours and created backgrounds with food dye on watercolour paper using the wet-on-wet technique. While the papers were drying, students splattered white paint on black paper. This was a fun and messy activity which the students thoroughly enjoyed!

The next part of the project was to first draw and paint Notre Dame and the Djap Wurrung tree onto the cool and warm coloured papers. Students had a choice of choosing the backgrounds for each monument. Once the initial drawings were penciled in, they had to go over the lines using a small round brush and black paint. The final stage was to cut the Notre Dame and Djap Wurrung tree paintings by leaving a border around the shapes created and glued on the white splattered black paper.

This project reinforced colour theory, painting techniques and skills but also the significant meaning of places of gathering for different people.

Audrey Buttigieg Cardona
Visual Arts Teacher
Christ the Priest Primary School
Caroline Springs