Vlei comes alive with ‘flying’ art

2016-10-04 06:00
Learners took part in the flight of dreams parade in honour of the birds at Princess Vlei.

Learners took part in the flight of dreams parade in honour of the birds at Princess Vlei.

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Princess Vlei came alive with activities in celebration of Heritage Day.

Picnickers at Princess Vlei were startled by the sight of nine giant birds and a giant praying mantis. These creatures were part of the colourful flight of dreams parade, held annually by the Princess Vlei Forum to celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Princess Vlei.

The birds have been created by school learners from Lotus High School, Dominican Grimley School for the Deaf and Levana, Harmony, John Graham and Hyde Park primary schools.

“The children were hard at work from early in the morning on the day putting the finishing touches to the puppets, bird masks and headdresses for the parade.

“The learners paraded down First Avenue to the Vlei, led by the Fairmount High School marching band. At the Vlei, they paraded among the scores of families enjoying a braai next to the water before doing a performance of the Khoisan legend ‘The great bird race’,” says Bridget Pitt of the Princess Vlei Forum.

Ebrahim Abrahams, a teacher at John Graham, says it was “an awesome opportunity” for the children to express themselves through art.

“The children use art to show that they care about birds, their environment and Earth itself. They enjoyed the day so much that they insisted on follow-up projects.”

The project is a collaboration between the forum, Jungle Theatre Company and the Peter Clarke Art Centre (formerly Frank Joubert).

“In the weeks before the event, the forum organised workshops at the schools to teach the children about birdlife at Princess Vlei. The Jungle Theatre organised workshops with Lotus High students to prepare for a performance and the Peter Clark Art Centre facilitators ran a workshop for teachers. Thanks to the local neighbourhood watch for help with marshalling and the League of the Friends of the Blind for supplying the venue for the workshop,” she says.

The programme aimed to raise awareness about environmental issues, in particular about the importance of conserving and rehabilitating Princess Vlei, to celebrate the natural systems and flora and fauna in the city, in particular the birds, to create awareness of our KhoiKhoi and San heritage and to enable children to express their appreciation of nature through creative projects.

V The children’s art will be on display in the Grassy Park Library from Saturday 8 to Saturday 15 October.

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