For the final session the children had asked to complete ‘The Children’s Pavilion’ and rebuild their Cardboard City and to exhibit the two pieces together. They really wanted for all the other students in the school to see what they had created. They also wanted to talk about what they had been doing to others who had not been in the classroom and seen the whole process.
The excitement on our final day was further heightened by the announcement that the manager of the local shopping centre would be coming to the school to look at their art work and if their was enough space in the shopping centre their work would go in display yet again. Initially the session was planned for two hours but such a hive of activity we spent the entire day working on our pieces. Even though I was the artist I felt that I was surrounded by a team of artists, all investigating, creating, discussing ideas, finding solutions and completing the work. What was fantastic was the realization that I was not central to what was happening in the room the process had equipped the children with the skills and ability confidently to actively form and question an idea using a creative process.
As our day drew to a close the children looked at what they had created and seemed very satisfied with how their overall installation was presented and also knowing that the rest of the school would visit the Hall to look at their work. The senior infants day finishes earlier than the older children who class by class came to look at the work and ask questions.
The older children looked on with great admiration of the work and asked many questions. Though the older children would have been capable of creating similar work and exploring a similar concept their biggest obstacle would have been the word ‘can’t’. Over the long-term residency I realized that the senior infants never used ‘I can’t do that’ or ‘I wouldn’t be able to do that’ instead it was always ‘we are going to do this’ or ‘how can we do it’. The senior infants have set themselves no limitations and believe that everything is possible. I think that this is the key to why we achieved, created and learnt so much on an incredible and worthwhile journey.
At the end of the school day the manager of the local shopping centre arrived and he too like the older children was extremely impressed with what the senior infants had created. He had also identified a suitable space within the shopping centre where he felt ‘The Children’s Pavilion’ could be exhibited for all the community to see. Thankfully a group of enthusiastic parents have offered to help install the work in a few days time. The exhibition will remain in place for about 10 days and then