Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.
Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.
- Looking through the pictures, near the top there is a picture of street artist Wongi Wilson perched up on a cherry picker, painting a gigantic mural with the help of a four-metre pole. What might it be like to try to paint this way? What would be the challenges and limitations? How might it feel to see your enormous artwork once it was finished?
- Did you know that early forms of graffiti go back to ancient times, such as those mentioned that were found among the ruins of the buried city of Pompeii? Have you seen any of the early cave art that is mentioned in the article? Did you know there is cave art in New Zealand?
- In your opinion, does the “retired railway turntable” that is pictured, covered with graffiti, look better or worse with tagging on it? What kinds of feelings does graffiti arouse in you?
- Graffiti is described as a way for street artists to “insert themselves” into public spaces where those with power (companies who can pay for advertising) dominate what we see. Have you given any thought to the extent to which our lives are affected by advertising in public spaces? Do you find billboards intrusive or exhausting, or do they make life more interesting? Are billboards and graffiti both forms of visual pollution or does one have more validity than another?
- Christchurch’s CBD has become home to a “city-wide grass roots arts movement” in which murals distract from the destruction of the earthquakes and other memories. Looking at the photos, what can you see that would uplift, enrich or unify? Do these images challenge your concepts of what is and isn’t art, or enhance your ideas about the purpose of art?
Activity: Make a magazine-strip collage!
Use strips of magazine photos to create an eclectic and playful collage.
You will need:
- Magazine images
- Backing paper
Step One: Select some images that contrast to one another – for example a person, a car and a landscape. Cut each image lengthways into narrow strips.
Step Two: Play around with arranging the strips next to one another, such as a strip of person next to a strip of car. Vary the heights so they create a jagged top and bottom.
Step Three: When you are happy with your arrangement, glue the pieces down onto a sheet of backing paper. Paint on a clear gloss if you have one and add a border if you want to.