Trash Orchestra

I'm stoked to have completed this project at Nicholson Street Public School in Balmain, Sydney as part of their Artist in Residency program for 2018. Over 6 weeks I set about constructing musical instruments out of discarded materials with all 175 students at the school. Then together with Tina Stefanou (vocalist) and Joseph Franklin (composer) we recorded an album of original music.

The project was an opportunity to bring together everything I had been developing as an educator up to that point. I integrated nature connection practices, storytelling, games, process driven art making and arts education to guide the project towards open ends. Wherever possible I drew on the approaches of innovative contemporary art makers to bring the edge into the school. And I documented everything in a project journal. The feedback from teachers, parents and students was fantastic, especially from those teachers who found it difficult to go along with the open ended nature of the project but by the end felt they had benefitted personally from the challenge.

Moving forward I see with renewed clarity and creativity the potential for this kind of project based art making with children and I have some new ideas about how projects can align with social good. I'm taking what I learned into my next project, Street Art at Wenona School.

In the meantime here is the album, Elementary, inspired by the elements. And check out the project journal.