|Written by Lyn Portter|
Lyn Potter from
On a recent visit to
In my experience, art lessons which are based on an aspect of the student's own environment work well. The village, in which
There was a turtle preserved in the local museum which was one of two turtles that had been presented by Captain Cook to Queen Salote's father as a symbol of friendship between the two races. For some years, the Queen asked the sisters at the convent where we were staying to look after one of the turtles.
I decided that the focus would be on turtles, tone and pattern. The turtle is often used as a motif in contemporary tapa. I had only one morning to cover a lot of ground but I felt that if everyone worked well it would be achievable. Brother Mark had brought in a giant turtle shell that was hung on the wall so that the patterns on the back were clearly visible.
In the second part of the lesson I wanted the students to transform the turtle from a realistic image to a pattern. They redrew the outline but this time they had to fill the shape with Tongan patterns. I did briefly show some turtle motifs on tapa greetings cards but then I put these away. These students did not need examples of patterns in front of them while they work, as they are very familiar with them. I thought they would use very traditional patterns but they were very loose and expressive in their pattern making.
Time was running out and we had still not done the major part of the work - the large turtle paintings I had planned.
(Sources: www.schoolsupplies.co.nz / From Primary Colours Issue No 17, April)
- www.livingheritage.org.nz under Living Heritage
- http://homepages.ihug.co.nz under News and Events
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