The educators and children in our family day care services recently visited the Burrunju Aboriginal Art Gallery to learn more about Aboriginal culture through viewing artworks, instruments and having hands on experiences.
Upon arrival, the children were bursting to explore! They excitedly announced to their educators each time they saw the different Australian animals, shapes and so many vibrant colours throughout the beautifully displayed paintings, with cries of “Look! A crab!” “Look, a kangaroo!” and “I like this one!”
Some of the children came across a display of boomerangs, clapsticks and other hand-carved instruments. The children quickly began to tap, feel and admire the pieces.
Artist Greg kindly provided the children a didgeridoo and dance experience. Greg is from the Yidinji people from Cairns west over the mountains to the Atherton tablelands and his style of art has been passed down by his elders.
The children were jumping with excitement as Greg asked the children if they could guess which words he was playing through the didgeridoo. He played a start and stop game where the children became kangaroos and would scratch like a kangaroo when the didgeridoo stopped. The children laughed, danced and hopped with joy!
Next, we sat in under the gum trees in the Remembrance Garden for lunch. The children explored the garden and came across a carving of an eagle on a wooden seat. We felt with our fingers all the markings and this sparked conversation about the animals they saw in the paintings. Soon, the children began collecting rocks and sticks and even finding bugs throughout the garden. One of the children told an educator “This rock looks like a boomerang.”
We began talking about using natural materials in our own artworks and soon the children were collecting sticks and leaves to use in their artworks back at their family day care service.
We are looking forward to exploring more Aboriginal art with the children using natural materials they collect, and continuing to explore and build strong partnerships with our local community.