THE CREATIVE FUSION PROJECT @ PGSS - 2010/ 2011
The CREATIVE FUSION PROJECT is a school/community project whereby artists of different generations work together, sharing each other's ideas and skills to build bridges which span typical age barriers.
LIFE'S CIRCLE symbolizes this endeavor by depicting the life cycle of mankind in the format of a Medicine Wheel with the logo of the Lheidli Tenneh First Nation in the center.
The four areas represent the following: Direction by position (N, E,S,W)
Race by the four main colours
Artists by the primary colours
Seasons by deciduous trees
Natural Resources by coniferous trees
Roots/Family by tree roots
Time of day by sun and moon
Age/Knowledge & Experience by the seasons
The 4 Elements (Earth - brown, Water - raindrops, Air - wind & Fire by flames)
Symbols of Traditional Medicine/Offerings (tobacco, cedar, sage & sweetgrass)
PGSS by green Polar Bear paw prints
The handprints in the pastel areas of the Medicine Wheel represent all participating artists in this project as well as the Band Leaders of the Lheidli T?enneh Chief and Council members.
The students and teachers who used their free time to create this mural are Renata Gebert, Resa Hayes, Amanda Horvath, Laura Chandler, Tracy Hartshorne and Jennifer Pighin.
Ms. Chandler was very happy to initiate and participate in this project with likeminded students and colleagues for her final school project before retiring. On July 11th Louella Nome, a band councellor of the Lheidli T'enneh, welcomed everyone to the event at Studio 2880 unveiling the mural with a prayer and shared a story, a piece of Lheidli T?enneh history, with those present.
All participants are very proud to have LIFE'S CIRCLE added to the other murals previously completed last spring, to the front of Studio 2880.
Laura Chandler - PGSS Teacher
While looking at all the different formats of the soon to be completed 'Creative Fusion' murals of last Fall, 2010, I began to think of other possible formats for variety and interest sake. The idea of a circle within a square came to mind, with the square standing on one tip somewhat like a diamond. The Medicine Wheel with its symbolism of peaceful interactions and connections seemed to be very fitting to be a part of the 'Creative Fusion' project. It has been very rewarding to see how the original idea and sketch has evolved to it's final state; a culmination of all our research, ideas, suggestions and cooperative hard work. We each worked during our own free time, sometimes with others and sometimes alone. It is most commendable that these busy young people gave up their time to do something for others. The job at hand placed us all all on equal ground, where we learned from each other and depended upon each other. No step or change was made without consultation from all. Because of this project we have grown to know each other as individuals rather than just as our role of teacher and student. Now that 'Life's Circle" is complete there is a sense of accomplishment that we can share with the entire community. It is a visual reminder that we are each a part of the whole and that no matter where we are in the circle, that we have something to offer and something to learn.
Tracy Hartshorne- PGSS Teacher
Working with my colleagues and with young artists on this project has been a very rewarding experience. Over the course of the project I was able to work with a colleague and mentor of my own and young artists, learning more about them and from them as we worked together. I hope that people will be able to identify with the piece and appreciate the meaning behind each image and it's relation to the whole project. Working on this project has also inspired my own work and I hope that it will inspire others to express their creativity and, in particular, their creativity in connection to our community.
Jennifer Pighin - PGSS Teacher
The creation of this mural stemmed from an idea and feeling that Mrs. Chandler had last fall after we had painted our first mural together. Between the two of us we thought it would be a great idea to create a two panel center piece for the murals at studio 2880 in which we could call upon all of the participants within our community to contribute, resembling the essence of the Creative Fusion project. We had a vision and it didn't take us long to come up with a plan with input from PGSS students. Looking into the heritage of Prince George as the theme alongside having elders and youth being involved it seemed clear to us that we needed to further acknowledge and honour this land as the traditional territory of the Lheidli T'enneh - people from the confluence of the two rivers. Our vision included resembling the diversity and the cyclical nature of this project so we incorporated the medicine wheel and many of its key concepts through symbolic visual representations. Central to the design is the logo of the Lheidli T'enneh upon a bed of rocks. Mrs. Chandler and I created a sketch of the design and through several meetings and consultations we had the use of the logo approved through the band and Studio 2880. We were all extremely delighted to hear that our concept was approved and that it would be placed at a high profile location on the front of the Studio 2880 building. When the mural was nearly complete we invited all of the participants, elder and youth, as well as the Lheidli T'enneh elders, Chief and Council to make their mark on the mural with their hand prints. Overall the finished design is both visually strong and symbolically significant.
Renata Gebert - PGSS Student
I came to work on this mural because it provided me with an opportunity to connect with other people and create something on a far bigger scale than I had ever attempted before. The mural's imagery emphasizes the connectedness of people and the world, and to me, this means tolerance - an attitude that I value deeply.
Resa Hayes - PGSS Student
My friend Renata brought me to the first meeting and thus I became involved in painting this mural. I managed t to paint at lunchtime mainly throughout the winter. I was pleased to be able to participate as I was able to paint with my best friend and I met some nice art teachers. I think the mural is very elegant and I love it! I especially like the colour red...a lot!!
Amanda Horvath - PGSS Student
I participated in painting this mural after Ms. Chandler asked me to join the project. I helped paint the First Nation's Eagle in the center. I came during my spare to work on the piece, usually by myself so I didn't really get to meet or work with the other students. I did work with one of the teachers and had a great time.
The finished piece is beautiful and it really show BC culture. I am really glad I got to work on this project.