Chinese New Year is celebrated across the world but it’s also a great way to learn and understand different cultures in the classroom. As well as promoting diversity to the wider school community, the students from Hanbury Primary School were exploring this with one of our amazing visual artists, Luke Perry.
Though it is the year of the pig, the students got to design and create a giant Dragon. Weaving and dancing through the crowds, the Dragon can be seen at many new year parades. It symbolises great power, dignity and wisdom, as well as bringing good luck and fortune as it dances.
Firstly, the students began by learning different Chinese characters and words, which they cut out and painted onto medallions. They then stuck these medallions onto the sides of the Dragon. After this, the students then began the long process of cutting out scales for the dragon. The students then used 3 different colours when painting the scales, representing good luck in Chinese culture, red was used as the main colour of the dragon.
Once Luke and the students completed the scales, they began work on the dragon’s beard and skirt. They did this by cutting out hand shapes of colourful material and seaweed bunting. They then attached them onto the Dragon along with pre-cut shapes and parts for the Dragon’s head. The students then had to paint and colour them in. Each scale was then stapled on once the body was completed.
The students then got to parade the dragon around the school to some of the Early Year pupils. Dancing around in the traditional style of the Dragon Dance, hopefully bringing students and teachers good luck.
Be sure to check out Luke’s work over on our Instagram page. As well as working for Newave, he has his own company over at Industrial Heritage Stronghold!