The Great Wall of Room 4
Our school, Opunake Primary, sits on the west coast of New Zealand. Room 4 has a teacher, 20 students and the biggest class in the school - but there’s something missing. We have empty walls. That's why we're making an art mural to fill in our walls and make our big class not feel so empty.
The Berlin Wall
Our first step as a class was to find out about the Berlin wall. The Berlin wall was built because of a conflict between East and West Germany. Lots of people on the communist side had poor living conditions and they had no political freedom. Then they put up the Berlin wall. It was up for almost 28 years, to stop people from leaving. When the wall came down in 1989, lots of artists from all over the world came together and trasformed the East side of the wall with their paintings, giving the wall a new look.
This part of the wall is now the Eastside Gallery. These paintings reflect the terrible parts of German history, show how they feel about it and their great hopes for a different and better future. Lots of the paintings have slogans of hope and peace in them. We analysed the art and found out what they meant. For example, there was one piece of art that really stood out to me. There was a hand poking out of jail cell and he was doing the peace fingers and in the sky was a dove. To me the dove showed peace and the person behind bars showed how everyone was trapped behind the wall.
That got our class thinking - what do we want out class room wall to be like?
About our wall
We put all our heads together to work out what we really want our classroom to be like. We wanted our paintings to show something about us, who we are, what our class is like, and something that would make people think about these messages. Our painting had to be happy or positive.
Madison: For my painting, Tanisha and I decided to do a couple of words together with a rose in between the words. Our words were: Mind over matter. At first we thought is was a pretty good idea, but then we thought it was boring with just words, so then we did the rose and didn’t use the word ‘over’ because the word ‘mind’ is over the word ‘matter’.
Jamiee: Xanthe and I thought up our plan and loved it so much! Perfect! Our art had the word FREEDOM across the page and above that was a beautiful dove which meant peace. Under freedom was the doves tail, and hanging under the dove’s tail was a key.The key meant that we can be free. For our background we chose to have handprints, because the handprints show friendship and to be together.
Xanthe: Jamie and I drew a dove, the word freedom, a key, and hand prints as the background. For usthe dove meant freedom/peace, the key symbolises unlocking our imaginations, the hand shows freindship, and lastly freedom meant we can be ourselves and show how unique we really are.
Now we have finally finished our part of the wall. It looks fantastic to see it up in the classroom. This project has been a lot of hard work with the research, planning, painting and more. It was great fun too though, and we learnt a lot from it. You have to work to get what you want.
By Quba, Madison, AJay, Kayla, Jamiee, Tanisha, Xanthe
“Their art inspired us to make our wall beautiful because our classroom walls were dull.” Josh
“Our art explains who we are and what we are like.” Caitlin