"The response from the young people … has been wonderful. The artists have passionately engaged the young people in their exciting art-making processes and a real buzz has been created about the all abilities playground project, developing a true sense of community excitement and ownership"
- Jessica Townsend, Crossing Divides Project Coordinator (2009)
Students from six local schools played a very hands-on and creative role in the making of the Kurrawa All Abilities Playground.
Approximately 70 students helped create community art installations for the park, with the assistance of five local artists, as part of the Kurrawa All Abilities Playground Art Project.
Coordinated by Crossing Divides Inc in collaboration with the Gold Coast City Council and Complete Urban Design, the joint project aimed to give children a say in how art was integrated into the playground.
Each artist worked with students to create of five distinct artworks, which were installed at orientation nodes throughout the play space.
The artworks – which ranged from mosaics to wire installations – were first designed before being created during workshops in the last school term of 2009.
Local artists worked with students from Caningeraba State School’s Special Education Unit (SEU) and Southport State School’s Special Education Program (SEP) to create ‘The Cloud Screen’ – a 2.5m x 4m illustrative wire sculpture created for the playground’s lookout area.
"Workshop One encouraged students to tell a story using symbols to indicate places that were of importance to them,” local artists said.
"They were asked to link these places together in the form of a narrative, before being invited to use pipe cleaners as a way of transitioning to sculpting with wire.
"The students had a fantastic time and learnt a lot about aspects of art that they had not even dreamed of. Thank you for inviting us to be a part of the project and well done!"
- Head of Special Education Services, Labrador State School (2009)
“Workshop Two then focused on creating wire shapes that I would join together to form the sculpture. Using 4mm wire, students experimented with different techniques and tools, including pliers, wire jigs, bending wrenches, forks and tines.
“The entire process generated a great sense of pride and ownership among the students, who were very excited to be sharing their ideas with the entire community.
“It also encouraged students to experiment, promoting greater confidence and enjoyment in art-making.”
Other schools that participated in the art project included: Arundel State School (SEP), Labrador State School (SEU), Mudgeeraba Special School and Currumbin Community Special School.
Auspiced by Access Arts, Crossing Divides Inc also held a public workshop in July 2008, inviting local residents to decorate copper scales with enamel as part of a community sculpture titled FISH. The sculpture was unveiled at the SWELL Sculpture Festival in September 2008 and was later installed in the playground.