Imagination takes flight in mural
A tiny bird that survived against the odds is at the heart of plans for a special school mural.
The New Zealand Black Robin sits at the centre of a design by Marlborough artist Janelle Wilkey and the enviro leaders at Riverlands School in Blenheim.
The inspirational design has been selected as one of three in the primary schools category to make it through to the national finals of the Resene Worthy Wall Campaign 2018.
Pupils hope the community will vote for them so they can win all the materials needed to paint the colourful mural on a wall at the school.
Nurse and artist Wilkey, whose son Nelson Whippy is in year 1 at Riverlands School, says she chose the robin as it relates to one of the country’s most successful conservation successes; Old Blue.
Old Blue was the last breeding female in New Zealand who helped her species to survive and flourish. The species is famous across the globe for its recovery from imminent extinction in the early 1980s.
Wilkey, who spent 23 years working in remote indigenous communities in Australia tackling tropical diseases, says she has always seen art as a ‘‘hobby’’.
It was only when her family settled in Marlborough last year that she began to see painting as a possible career.
‘‘There obviously isn’t much call for a tropical disease nurse here.
‘‘I met with the enviro group and put together some ideas. We then spent a few days finding the right one.
‘‘The robin is an inspiring message of hope in that she reminds us of how dedication can bring about change and how we should focus on the environment for the future,’’ she says.
The delicate pencil image includes native New Zealand flowers to represent habitat. The blue background and the stones represent both a river and Riverlands School itself.
‘‘The children’s hands form the recycling logo; they are the custodians of the future.
‘‘We are very excited to present this image for the compe- tition and look forward to the chance of painting it and enhancing the school environment with this valuable message and conservation story,’’ Wilkey said.
Voting closes on May 4 at 9am. To vote for Riverlands School visit knzb.org.nz
The Riverlands School design team, Tyrese Bristowe, left, Nelson Whippy, Janelle Wilkey, Sophia Dillon and Jessica Beamsley.