You can’t have missed the fantastic wood carvings now installed in the playground, complete with a sapling gum tree in the middle and security night lights. They are the ‘CARE’ chairs and there’s a lovely story behind them.
If you cast your mind back a couple of years you might recall that where the gym now sits there used to be trees, and at the southern end of the gym – where the stairwell is – there were a couple of beautiful one hundred year old pine trees. When the trees were cut down the workers found a stack of small old toys that had been wedged into the bark over the years: metal Matchbox cars, marbles and toy soldiers, children’s entertainment before iPads!
Bit McLean came up with the idea to save the wood from the trees and to engage an artist to use the wood ‘to beautify our school in another form.’ She set up the Artist in Residence project, funded by the school, and engaged sculpture, Rob Bast. Rob has worked on many great community, council and private commissions and is also an ice sculptor.
While Rob was working on the chairs, all the Visual Arts classes visited him and watched him convert the logs into functional objects using a range of tools including chain saws! The kids got see that sculpture is not restricted to bronze or marble and chisels or welding and it also showed them a way that an artist can earn a living and contribute something beautiful to the community. It was a fantastic opportunity for the kids to see a real-life artist at work.
The four wood carving represent our four C.A.R.E. Values: Co-operation, Acceptance, Respect and Excellence. Penguins work together in their communities and so they adorn the Co-operation chair. The chair that shows a gathering of a variety of animals all getting along and enjoying what each has to offer is the Acceptance chair. The kangaroo and emu appear on Australia’s coat of arms and they are two of the few animals who always move forward; they support the Respect chair. The wedge-tailed eagle is a bird who sees the world from lofty heights and who soars to mountain peaks; our top bird symbolizes excellence.
It’s hoped the chairs will become an integral part of the Kew Primary landscape and provide a beautiful spot for anyone in need of a little down-time, a quiet place for kids to read or a resting place for tired parents!