I have been able to be the person I have always felt guided to be - this year - due to the specialness of the environment I have been in. That’s the only difference... I have wanted to create a bottle top mosaic for over nine years (post here that proves it). The gardening and connecting to nature themes that I feel inspired to pass on to young people (and their open minds) are in it.
It is mounted in a courtyard between all the food tech classes at the school above where there had been a neglected 3.7 m long planter; I restored the soil and planted herbs for their cooking, in a bit of an adventure, and now the Learning Support Centre students and I maintain it.
It has been the most amazing collaborative effort, true teamwork where the energy of the students pushed me along from my usual perfectionist struggle; and all their ideas from their unique personalities enriched it. There has been political guidance (to apply and receive permission and funding), team leadership for the drilling of screws, artistic cooperation, but mostly the space and trust to allow me to follow the guidance I listen to from spirit.
A local paper came to the ribbon cutting ceremony (Hibiscus Matters, Dec 18); here are the words to a presentation I made explaining the social message - an important part of the recycled materials mural:
This artwork was created using 2607 plastic bottle tops saved from one family’s usage (mine) over nine years, diverting them from landfill as these are not currently recycled.
The students of the Learning Support Centre have been involved in the creation of this artwork from concept stage, to placement of lids in the mosaic, to drilling screws; each student adding their own unique touch which gives this artwork its power.
The artwork shows the forces of nature at work, from worms digging in the soil beneath the ground to the land being shown as alive with Papatuanuku’s face and body as the hills, the swirls of wind, rays of sun and waters of the ocean and rivers as they flow from the land.
This artwork shows us how nature works and regenerates itself in a cycle, ever recycling what it does not need into something new, never throwing anything "away”.
(Bottlecap artwork method inspired by Michelle Stitzlein, artist in America.)