School turns tag­ging into a pos­i­tive

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A bad at­tack of tag­ging at Pukerua Bay School last year gal­vanised stu­dents, teach­ers and the com­mu­nity to in­ves­ti­gate ways to elim­i­nate tag­ging.

Help came from Porirua City Coun­cil through Richard Withe­ford- Smith, Porirua City Coun­cil’s graf­fiti re­duc­tion co­or­di­na­tor.

He of­fered to run the Tag Free Kiwi pro­gramme in the school, set­ting off a chain of ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing the pupils.

In term 1 ev­ery class worked with lo­cal artist Emily Boo­nen to de­sign and paint a mu­ral in the lo­cal skate park.

The theme was ‘‘ na­ture break­ing through’’ and it fea­tured wildlife, fauna and flora of Pukerua Bay. The re­sult was an im­pres­sive art work on the wall of the skate bowl.

At the school, artist Rachel Bene­field worked with groups of stu­dents to cre­ate two stun­ning mu­rals that showed off the su­perb ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment off the coast of Pukerua Bay.

Bene­field then wrote a play, com­mu­ni­cat­ing the mes­sage about tag­ging and its im­pact on people in the com­mu­nity.

The chil­dren took the mes­sage to heart and shared it dur­ing a re­cent school cel­e­bra­tion day, which in­cluded a skat­ing demon­stra­tion at the sub­urb’s skate park.

As part of the project, the se­nior pupils found out about street art graf­fiti and tag­ging as art forms and even cre­ated ideas based on the street art of Banksy for the school play­ground.

The chil­dren have had to de­cide whether there was a place for graf­fiti- style art that doesn’t van­dalise property.

The se­niors will do a field trip later in the year to mon­i­tor tag­ging on the rail line be­tween Pukerua Bay and Porirua – with ideas to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.

Dave Red­mayne from Porirua City Coun­cil and the team from Cheap­skates pro­vided prizes for the chil­dren for their work on the project.

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