who is swimming
against the stream
the strength of
Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket the people will live
This time I’m highlighting New Zealand”s history, its culture, art and diversity. Every term I plan to cover a specific topic of New Zealand’s rich society. The title can easily be adjusted by replacing the last word.
We have a huge display wall in the library – 6 x 3 meters that calls for bold statements. (well, I interpret it that way)
I’m a huge fan of re-using materials and finding a creative destination for unwanted or discarded objects. At first this display didn’t seem to be a display in which I could incorporate my ideas of using old light bulbs but when I read my own sub-title I realised I had the perfect opportunity……..
I created a special corner with – indeed – old, dead light bulbs and fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling with a sign saying:
‘HIGHLIGHTING NEW ZEALAND’S HISTORY’
Call me crazy but I LOVE it!!!!!
The maintenance department collected the light bulbs and I am sure they secretly laughed about my antics…
I assured them that I was really happy with the stuff they delivered and for a couple of days they came in putting more bulbs and tubes on my desk……I thought about spray painting them with gold paint but in the end I decided against it. They are beautiful the way they are ………………
What you need:
- Blue fabric or wrapping paper
- Green fabric or wrapping paper
- 2 x Christmas rope lights
- Gold wrapping paper cut into small strips and scrunched up to give the idea of water flowing along the boats
- Black card as background for the historical events
- Images of waka (Google – images – Creative Commons) enlarged and adjusted (I constructed wakas with figureheads, Maori desings cut into the shape of a waka and copying the tail of a waka, all glued together and copied /enlarged/ reversed or reduced in size as required)
- Images of figureheads (Google – images – Creative Commons) reduced / reversed, printed and laminated
- Images of The Endevour or Windjammers (Google – images – Creative Commons) reduced or reversed, printed and laminated
- Images of important historical New Zealand events + their explanation – printed and laminated (Google NZ historical timelines)
- Old light bulbs and fluorescent tubes
- Title – printed and cut to size. Don’t be too careful when cutting around the letters. It gives a nice curly edge if you vaguely follow the shape of the letters to emphasize their shape (and it makes it much easier to do the job (:-)
- Poster with the text:’ HIGHLIGHTING NEW ZEALAND’s HISTORY’ showing an image of a light bulb underneath – laminated and cut in the shape of an arrow pointing down
- Carton boxes in different shapes
- Wrapping paper to cover the boxes
- Images with Maori (or local) motifs and designs to paste onto the boxes..
What to do: Cover the background with the blue fabric or paper. Print a map of the North and South Island of New Zealand (or whatever country you want to display)
- Draw a grid across the map of the country and convert the image to the green fabric – cut it to shape
- Staple the islands (country) to the background..
Unroll the Christmas rope lights and connect them with the power supply – they will heat up and that makes it easier to form them to the desired shape
- Cut dozens and dozens of little pieces of blue fabric to be used for holding the rope light in place
- Pin the rope light around the islands and reshape it until satisfied
- Staple the rope in place using the pieces of blue fabric to tie them down
- Pin the images with historical events to their place – when they’re in the right place staple them to the board
- Staple boats and wakas to the display board – all around the two Islands of New Zealand
This display attracts a lot of attention from teachers and students. The good thing is that with little adjustments I can highlight New Zealand’s art – its painters, sculptors, writers and poets working in their home towns.
Or New Zealand’s cultural diversity by pinpointing the ethnic variety across the country, adding food, recipes or historical landmarks from their country of origin.
Or I could add photographs/short biographies of New Zealand’s heroes (past and present) showing their accomplishments…..
Maybe highlight the New Zealand tourist industry showing images of bungy jumping from Auckland’s skytower or riding the cycle trail from Kaikohe to Okaihau (which is fantastic)
This display gives you a great opportunity to make it your own. You can copy the basic idea, but fill it in with details as you see fit…