This project was inspired by a song written and sung by Rachel Dawick at the Kauaeranga Hall last year. The song was about Biddy, a little feisty Irish woman gold miner from the Otago goldfields. Her songs and stories were so powerful that I had a vision of all these people from the past walking down Pollen St Thames in the Steampunk Festival. So I applied for Creative Communities funding and worked with Thames South and Puriri Primarys to create 28 cutouts. I made 8 trolleys and we all pulled them down the street, it was great. Since then they have been at the Thames Museum twice, opening of the Kopu/ Miranda bike trail, at Unplugged Sunday, the Miners dinner, Bella St Pumphouse, and now they are being installed in the school grounds.
I worked for 10 weeks with 30 -45 students. We started off setting up a vintage style photobooth, next was print making to get them in the mood. Puriri school designed cutouts from 1890’s local characters and Thames South students used their own images and created a story around their figures. The students learnt new skills, shared ideas and discovered the rich history of their district.