A Toowoomba kindergarten has coordinated an art installation with a local artist using recycled or reused materials.

Wanita Lorenz and children at Chiselhurst Kindergarten were inspired by a book called Rainbow Weaver to design the art piece. “This is a beautiful story of a young Guatemalan girl who collected and wove colourful plastic bags,” explains Wanita. “She made a beautiful artwork, took care of the environment and made those around her look differently at their world.”

All 89 students were given a hula hoop that was strung up to resemble a bike wheel, and woven with colourful plastic bags. The hoops were then joined in four class groups and suspended in the playground where shade sails are normally suspended in summer.  “The presence of the artwork and the shadows they form have also led on to other imaginative games and play with the children,” Wanita says.

Wanita’s children have attended Chiselhurst Kindergarten since 2015. This is her third large scale artwork collaboration with the nursery. “Every sculptural collaboration at Chiselhurst has employed the use of recycled or reused materials.  Earlier this year, we began phasing out single use plastic bags so it was important to find a way to involve the children in this positive change.”

The Rainbow Weaving project has used 750 plastic bread bags that would have ended up as landfill.  Wanita says the children at Chiselhurst have many opportunities for creative play.  On their own they can make amazing things, but these kind of projects teach them that working together with others can produce something really special. “It has brought the families and friends of the children together to enjoy the end result.  It gives the children a sense of belonging and community.”

The Rainbow Weaving project is a temporary installation and will conclude at the end of November, due to the nature of the materials being unable to survive outdoors for a long period of time. “It is important to teach the children that art does not have to be permanent or solid,” says Wanita. “Successful artworks are innovative and create relationships between the site and the viewer, regardless of the medium used or how long it will remain. When this work is removed we can start thinking about next year’s project!”

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