One of the exhibitions I am working towards at the moment is The Little Lotus Project.
It’s a great sustainable creative project and I feel lucky to be involved. The Little Lotus Project has been going since 2009 and late last year they asked some of the children that they work with in the project “What do you dream?” and the children created various artworks that represent their dreams. Other older artists from New Zealand and abroad were then asked to create work in response to these dreams to create what will be a truly unique exhibition.
My work is in response to an illustration by Saw Myaing Khin – an 8 year old boy from Burma. Saw Myaing Khin dreamt of “The hell man walking when he fishing in the sea”.
His drawing was a seascape populated by all sorts of fantastic nautical happenings and and almost entirely red.
I am painting on recycled timber that is left over from my studio mate Julliet Arnott’s Rekindle project. These individual pieces will then be arranged and rearranged to create a situation that references Saw’s work and pays homage to the lore of ocean shanties.
The finished work will be exhibited in the Little Lotus Group exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Wellington and then auctioned online to raise funds for the continuation of the project.
From the Little Lotus press release:
“Last December the charity SpinningTop launched the 2011 Little Lotus Project with 13 talented artists from across the globe. Fundraising their way to the Thai/Burma border, the artists worked with and inspired refugee and migrant children who have fled from the instability of Burma and are now supported by SpinningTop and other NGOs.
We believe that just like the Lotus flower, these children deserve the chance to flourish in all areas of their education. Little Lotus Project focuses on the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental and emotional well-being of the children. Art and creativity are currently missing from their curriculum and Little Lotus Project brings the joy of creativity into their daily lives and at the same time raises vital funds to support their ongoing welfare. While working with the children, we began to see a theme emerge from the art itself and the communication with the children. It was all about dreams.”
“The exhibition will raise both awareness of the refugee cause and vital funds for the children’s ongoing welfare. It’s also a way of inspiring people, showing how art can make this world a better place and helping people to dream big in life. Working with the Little Lotus artists and a number of guest artists, we have the opportunity to create an exciting exhibition with a huge variety of styles and content.”