Mural a lasting legacy: Mindarie Primary School

Artist-in-residence Matilda Ayrton with Mindarie Primary School students. Picture: Martin Kennealey                www.communitypix.com.au   d444036
Artist-in-residence Matilda Ayrton with Mindarie Primary School students. Picture: Martin Kennealey               www.communitypix.com.au d444036

A SCHOOL gave a guest artist 15 hours and 10 pairs of helping hands to paint a mural on its sea container.

Edith Cowan University student Matilda Ayrton and 10 students from years 4 to 6 spent a few sessions painting the mural at Mindarie Primary School.

The artist-in-residence program was part of Ms Ayrton’svisual arts education graduate diploma and she had discussed the opportunity to paint thecontainer with teacher Jillian Gill.

“The artist-in-residence program is about giving student teachers the opportunity to collaborate with a school and implement a short teaching program based around our own skillsand the needs of the school,” she said.

“The container is a new space that the students have been converting into a vegetable and fruit tree garden.”

Ms Ayrton said they agreed to create a mural of native plants and she guided the students through the design process.

“They were given a scale model drawing of the container and through much discussion and deliberation they agreed on the placement of the plants and the colour scheme,” she said.

“We spent time studyingpictures of the plants, discussing the different variations of colour, and spent time colour mixingand matching.”

The school gave them four three-hour sessions to paint the mural, spread over Wednesdays in August and September.

Ms Ayrton said they finished the mural in two sessions and moved to the container’s other side, where they painted sea creatures representing the sports factions, with thumbprint spots from all students.

“The finished result really is a work of art. It is a lasting legacy to leave with the school,” she said.

Principal Barbara Bromley said the school benefited from strengthening links with ECU and the opportunity for students to work with an expert in the arts field.

“We have a wonderful mural on the shipping container, one that reflects the native flora on our site and brings together the plants that we have named our blocks after,” she said.

Ms Ayrton said painting had always been her passion and she initially studied scenic art, set construction and prop making for theatre.

“I specialised in large-scale backdrop or mural painting for theatre, as well as painting and maintaining props and sets for large shows such as The Lion King and Mary Poppins,” she said.