SILK MAPS
 
The creation of these silk hangings was a project undertaken by the Year 6/7 class with the Art Specialist Teacher.
Initially we spoke about the Swan River, the path it followed, its bays and tributaries and the life it sustains. We discussed the human usage of it, both past and present and it’s fragility as a result of the ever increasing demands upon it.
The children had participated in various workshops with Aboriginal elders and storytellers and upon viewing a number of Aboriginal paintings, they were able to have an understanding of the concept of symbolic representation and how the river could be “mapped”
using visual art techniques.
We decided to create the three “maps” to represent the Earth, the water and the vegetation existing around the river.
We visited Blackwell Reach and spent a morning there collecting and drawing various specimens.
The children worked in small groups selecting and  discussing  the images they would use to convey their ideas. The drawings were then arranged to suit all and transferred to the large pieces of
silk by tracing them with gutta. This process allows silk dyes to either be contained within an area, or to spread and blend together. The process of painting on silk requires the stretching of the fabric without it actually resting on a surface. This was done by taping the ends of it to tables and moving them apart.
This allowed the children the opportunity to film the process from underneath, capturing the beauty of the colours as they spread.
The fabrics were then allowed to dry, hemmed and hung within the school.