Assemblage - Manaakitanga; Collaborative Consideration, Collective Control.



These photos are the result of students working on the same drawing at different times and adding their own ideas to them. We had five proposals as a base. Each of the three classes worked on these equally. Time limits in class were set and students had to really think about how they perceived shelter from a spiritual, emotional, as well as physical sense.

 
Students voted for their favourite drawing and had to justify why they made that choice and consider how they would eventually make the structure. The first and largest image above is their choice - number 4. It wasn't mine and I struggled with not putting  a case forward for one I liked personally! That would have undermined the intention of it being their collaboration. It was their decision and they felt that 4 reflected their understanding and intention in discussing shelter. The difficult aspect of this is that this is not a three-dimensional drawing. It is a flat design, with texture, space and form that needs to be made three-dimensionally. In studying Anthony Caro, there is a realisation that he is not just a sculptor, but he is also a proficient abstract painter. And in fact, he is often really just painting with metal and space. Unlike Aycock, the student's other Artist model to consider in assemblage practice, he does not however, plan anything, or draw anything of his sculpted pieces. He only makes from the materials he has and the idea he has, often based on lengthy discussion and debate with his Artist wife. I have not got her name on hand. 

From there students have been working on creating it our assemblage. The first part of this, was how do we make a floor happen?  Anisha suggested her dad may be able to give us some old wooden palettes. Framing up a floor with 2 x 4, would have been a long, technical process and would have used a lot more material than we had budgeted for. So we asked Anisha if he would let us have some and the next day he delivered us 6 palettes, that our photography class nailed together as a floor. I was a little stunned when he drove up with these. Brilliant community here at Hornby. He also provided some nails from an old nail gun, but when you use those without a nail gun, someone has to sit there and break the wire that bonds them all together like machine-gun bullets... sore, sore fingers.

 

 
 







  Nikita and Bevan to the left, and additionally Shavaughnm Mich and Brianna below in the shortest video ever below (I  need a new phone...)



  The painters who werent too shy to be photographed; Niomi (Photographer), Estelle, Ana and    Quaid.

So who did what; The painting class took on the making of the uprights for the frame. The designers and then the painters took it on from there. Due to time constrictions across term one, we have struggled to finish what we have started, but the plans seem to be progressing as to how we manage the roof. Three v-shapes that likely have a proper building name, have been made by students with left over bits from a children's swing, one made solely by Danica, which was pretty impressive. There has not been one of our current students, who has not involved themselves in some way. We do not have real building knowledge here, we are in fact making what we have work, to be what we need visually. Mr Rees and Mr Rozka have been really helpful when we come over to them asking for all sorts of their gear and advice on how to do things that we had not even considered.

Our plan from here is to glue and drill screws in for the roof, as this seems sturdier and that is what we need as we go upwards. We have worked hard to make plaited flax ropes for bindings around corners and tying things on or down as we need to, but we need a lot more. Matua Mike Murray was brilliant in showing our design class how to carefully and respectfully cut the flax for this, with a Karakia and only the grandparent leaves. The cross feature and the wire features are still needed. Sheets for walls seems to be popular as we can use a staple gun to get them up and they will provide good imagery to draw, paint and photograph for folios, which is half the purpose of this structure; that it becomes their visual grounding, starting point and muse for the rest of the year. So, we have to re-set deadlines as we lost more class time than we initially anticipated and certain tasks too longer than we wanted as well.

 


  Miss Botherway, Mrs Cairns, Logan                                                               and Jacob

Additonally, Teresa, Shavaughn and Anisha pictured here with the boys (Design class).

There are numbers of incidents of working together and being collaborative, and it is often on the spur of the moment that it happens. That sense of helping each other out has been increasing and is happening in a natural way often. However, there are times when the teacher still has to get things started before it happens. I wonder if this is a confidence thing? But still not happening is the students owning it and working on it during their own time. There have been some small incidents of it happening with the small photography class, but it was short lived, with interruptions in learning slowing this down. So there is not really the sense of collective control that we wanted. Time and personalities across three classes have disrupted this. Students are working on how they make this structure meaningful in their folio work for the remainder of the year and already there are the calls to not start certain aspects of their personal practical work until 'we finish it'.

In starting this assemblage standard, to cover Manaakitanga as one of our cultural conventions, I find that other aspects of what has now been defined as our 6 successful teacher criteria (but for me was initially relative to how the Treaty of Waitangi is, or is not validated in teaching inquiry) are necessary in making this a success. Kotahitanga is most specifically what I am considering now. I have already begun using it as a learning outcome for term two of the year 10 programme, now I see that it is a natural progression for this programme also - creating unity, while celebrating individuality - this is my understanding of Kotahitanga based on discussions with our HOD Te Reo Māori, Matua Corey Kamariera. I need to think this out much further, as to how to apply it here meaningfully. I need to think about a lot of things further, as the two main concepts in studying Caro and Aycock need to be something students draw from during the course of their work this year too. I'm making a list.

In terms of completion of this assemblage, we have revised our expectations and are working towards completion, but with student collective control, not teacher-run timetabling and deadlining. Cindy and I are very proud of what our classes have achieved so far, but well aware of the work required still...

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