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Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Hundertwasser through the eyes of our children

Each year at Mairtown, as a fundraiser for our Kindergarten, we work with the children to produce artwork that is later made into calendars, cards and diaries.

Although a fundraiser, much time goes into the children each creating their own unique and individual piece. An artist the children are familiar with at Mairtown is Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He became our study, our provocation and inspiration.

We have several lovely books at Kindergarten illustrating many of Hundertwasser's work, so the children were able to choose a piece of his that really captured their imagination and curiosity before beginning their own work.

A major effect of Hundertwasser’s paintings are his use of colour. Hundertwasser used colour instinctively, preferring intense, radiant colours and loved to place complementary colours next to each other to emphasise movement. He also loved to use gold and silver, which he included in his work by pasting on thin pieces of foil. I think it's clear to see how children are drawn to Hundertwasser's work. They love the colour he uses, the shapes, and the lack of straight lines – visually there is so much to absorb and take in.


The children began their individual pieces by using black vivid pens. Later they added dyes from an assortment of colours and lastly when this had dried – perhaps several days later in some cases - the children were re-offered their work and given the opportunity to add depth and the illusion of texture with gold and silver metallic pens.

What is so lovely about this kind of art is that as teachers we are able to work with just one or two children at a time. This allows us to really discuss and examine in depth the art that has provoked each child. It is not to reach a consensus or opinion on what Hundertwasser’s art means, as this does little to encourage reflective thinking or further dialogue, but rather it is to develop skills of listening, of sharing ideas, of using our imaginations and of building up a collection of ideas that will ultimately enable the children to see and appreciate different perspectives to their own.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see” Edgar Degas

Thinking like an artist’ is another concept we encourage the children to consider. Artists often look at things more closely than most people do; they tend to notice details that others may miss. Children are wonderful observers naturally so when we work alongside them we – the teachers – encourage them to really ‘see’, to look at the shapes for instance, the objects that are nearby, the detail in one little corner, how the lines and patterns interact with each other.

I love what Liliana told Kim as she worked on her art, "Hundertwasser was the greatest artist in the whole world, but now he's dead, so now I'm the greatest artist in the whole world!"

These amazing final pieces by Eva and Claudia are a great example of this. Just a corner of Hundertwasser's work titled Land of men, birds and ships inspired these stunning pieces. You can spot what really captured these children if you look at the left hand side of this picture!

Here is another small collection of some of the finished work.

“When we dream alone it is only a dream, but when we dream together it is the beginning of a new reality” Hundertwasser



Unknown said...

This are beautiful. Congratulations all.

Unknown said...

Congratulations. These are beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer said...

To the children artists of Mairtown. I love your work. It is so colourful and a lovely tribute to a colourful man. He will be delighted his work is an inspiration to you all. I wish I was the recipient of these lovely gifts. Ka pai mahi. Lovely provocation for the children. Thanks for sharing it kaiako.

Anonymous said...

These works of art are simply stunning. Talented children, talented teachers, lucky parents!