The event was the Flight of Dreams Flying Puppets workshop, in which teachers learnt how to create movable bird puppets from newspaper and masking tape. The workshop was presented by Liesl Hartman and Fabian Hartzenburg, from the Peter Clarke Art Centre and the Ibhabhathane Project. It was funded through the Princess Vlei Forum.
Introducing the workshop, Bridget Pitt explained the philosophy behind the Flight of Dreams Project. ‘Too often, environmental education is about rules. We want to awaken a sense of wonder in children when contemplating nature, and nurture a love of wildlife and natural spaces. We have found that celebrating nature through art creation is one of the best ways of getting kids to really observe nature and to appreciate it. If they love it, they don’t need rules to tell them how to respect it and protect it.’
Liesl Hartman, Principal at PCAC, demonstrated how these remarkable birds can be constructed with scrap paper and tape, along the way teaching many lessons about art, design, and natural science. The secret to the designs is creating sticks by rolling the paper tightly – which can then be used in all manner of ways to construct the flying puppets.
The workshop forms part of the Princess Vlei Forum’s Flight of Dreams project, which includes a parade and children’s concert to be held at Princess Vlei on September 23. Any teachers keen to hold workshops at their school, or participate in the event, can contact Bridget Pitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to John Graham Primary for the use of their beautiful artroom.