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From the Resene News – issue 3/2003

Games and murals galore - School ground games and murals

Jil Sergent - School ground games and muralsIn a career spanning back to an innocent 2 year old, has had a long history in creating ground games. Sent outside by her mother with house size paintbrushes and a bucket of water, Jil created her first ground games before she had even started kindergarten. For the past 12 years this talent has been generously shared with Hawkes Bay children to nurture 'zest for life' and a 'respect for life'.

Ground games are created by painting Resene Super Gloss enamel directly onto concrete using an array of bristle brushes in a myriad of bright hues to suit the game selections. Foot traffic is then banned for 4-7 days before the children are let loose to enjoy the new ground feature.

Resene paint is used exclusively for this work due to its wearing and weathering properties in even the brightest of hues. With a palette typically including Resene Red Berry (bright red), Resene Turbo (bright yellow), Resene Endeavour (blue), Resene Resolution Blue (bright blue), Resene Cruise (green), Resene Salem (mid green), Resene Jewel (deep green), Resene Black and Resene White, durability is critical to ensure the children can enjoy the games long after they have been painted. The volume of foot traffic is a major determinant in the expected lifetime of ground games - expected life in a large school is four years extending to seven years in a smaller school.

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Recent ground games work includes:

Four Squares measuring 3 metres square and incorporating images of the Stars of the Southern Cross, Silver Fern, Kiwi and Pukeko at St Marys School in Fredericks Street, Hastings

Cabbage Tree and Octopus Hopscotch measuring 4-5m x 2m at Raureka School in Gordon Road, Hastings

Alphabet spider/web measuring 4m square at Te Awa School in Te Awa Ave, Napier.

Ground games have also taken on a vertical orientation appearing as targot walls. Taradale Primary School is home to a 3 metre high by 5 metre wide target wall constructed on Firth block overcoated in Resene Lumbersider in hues of Resene Red Berry, Resene Turbo, Resene Christi, black and white, while St Josephs School in Eastbourne Street, Hastings sports its own Resene Super Gloss coated target wall.

The second string to Jil's bow is her ability to create murals customised to suit junior audiences while still being educationally stimulating and true to subject matter. Parkvale School in Howard Road, Hastings has three variously themed murals adorning its library and junior area, measuring from 4 metres by 7 metres to 4 metres by 12 metres. Each is liberally coated in Resene Super Gloss in hues of Resene Red Berry, Resene Turbo, Resene Paua, Resene Crusoe, Resene Christi, Resene Grenadier, Resene Crab Apple, Resene Windsor, Resene Black and Resene White and each has its own story to tell as told by Jil Sergent (2002)...

Parkvale School Library Mural 1 - The Legend of Te Mata Peak

Click on the mural to view details of the selected area

"A giant warrior chieftain from the Northland region of Aotearoa stomps his way to the Heretaunga plains of the Hawkes Bay. He falls in love with a Heretaunga princess while battling with her tribe. To win her hand in marriage and unite the tribes in peace he must complete three tasks. But he chokes during his third task, which is to eat his way through Te Mata Peak. You can still clearly see him lying there to this day.

The ocean contains a maze - starting at the paua shell on the rock and travelling to Maori kete of harvested paua on beach. Includes close-ups of the Battle, the three tasks of the princess, the giant choking and lying dead (or sleeping) in the hills, a self portrait of myself and moon dog Ruby with a boy called Zak (7 years) who was very helpful and ever so talkative."

Parkvale School Library Mural 2 - Bush Library

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Click on the mural to view details of the selected area

"A small Celtic girl waves a spell with rata flowers to help a boy learn to read about our native bush and our ancient Celtic past. The three stone standings are a representation of NZ's Celtic past 3000 BC). A purple elemental blows out a candle wishing for the return of extinct creatures - moa and huia shown - for the safety and protection of what is left of our native flora and fauna. The mural also features the school principal, waving goodbye as this is his last year at the school."

Parkvale School Mural 3 (Junior Area) - Clothes Line Nursery Rhymes
Features a range of favourite nursery rhymes, book characters and icons...

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Click on the mural to view details of the selected area

4 'n' 20 blackbirds
Little Bo Peep
Jack & the Beanstalk
Hey Diddle Diddle
A Fly went by
Hairy McClary
The Magic Pudding
Grandpa's - slippers/cardigan/shirt/shorts
The Lorax
I had a little nut tree
I'm a Little T-Pot

Incy Wincy Spider
Pussy Cat - where have you been?
Ka pai the Kiwi
All Black Socks and Hastings Socks
Peter Blake - Red Socks
The New Zealand flag
Jil of Aotearoa and Ruby Moon-Dog
Silver Fern leaf
Totara tree
Maori Poupou
The Long White Cloud

From One Millennium to the Next - From Polynesia to Aotearoa to NZ

To celebrate the new millennium, Jil was commissioned to create a millennium mural for Frimley School in Frimley Road, Hastings. Coated in Resene Hi-Glo high gloss acrylic in hues and intermixes of Resene Red Berry, Resene Turbo, Resene Allports, Resene Windsor, Resene Crusoe, Resene Grenadier, black and white then protected with Resene Uracryl anti-graffiti coating, the finished work is a magnificent masterpiece of New Zealand history. To view the mural in its full 18 metre glory, a visit to the school is a must.

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

The story of the design as told by Jil Sergent...

"About 260 hours of painting ago I began my millennium challenge - to paint the history of my country - Aotearoa - from one millennium to the next. Beginning 800 AD with the arrival of the Polynesians - Kupe and his wife Hine Te Aparangi and the 12 waka. Through much discussion, much study and even more worry, I made decisions about what was and wasn't significant in the last 1000 years. Of course a lot cannot be depicted within 18 metres and the budget. Decisions were based on my ideas of the children's level of understanding and interest. Positive and significant events rather than specific people - though some people have been depicted and several disasters. New Zealand and New Zealanders have been through a lot, in a hurry over the last 2 centuries. And if the past wasn't hard enough to decide upon, try predicting the future - 2 square metres of it!

The first 16 metres speak for themselves - Kupe and Hine te Aparangi, Abel Tasman, Captain Cook, Whalers, Missionaries, Settlers, Trade, land wars, felling our primeval forests, developing farm land and social structures and economics.

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Click on the mural to view details of the selected area

The two metres of 'future' is more symbolic and open to interpretation. I wanted this section to focus on education and growth of people and planet - communication, tolerance and understanding of our ever increasingly diverse cultures.

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Click to expand

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

The sunrise 2000 - a bright outlook for a new day, a new millennium, a new beginning. A less than clear Hei Tiki is in the sun plus three times earlier in the mural because Hei Tiki is a very ancient symbol of the sun god from many cultures including New Zealand's first culture - the Waitaha. Hei Tiki is now entering his third millennium.

A male from the older generation holds the youngest generation up to the sky to reach for the stars (Southern Cross) - a gesture of support for the future. Whilst reaching for the future this youngest generation also fishes up New Zealand with a giant fish hook as Maui did so long ago. This multicultural child rediscovers and redefines New Zealand, built on a sound understanding of past generations and their beliefs, successes and failures.

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Over the sunrise flies a gannet carrying a pohutukawa branch in her beak - a NZ version of peace - one world, one heart.

The long white cloud of Aotearoa travels along the entire 18 metres.

Below the horizon we see the flame of 'human rights' symbol and the shaking of hands in a paua patterned ocean. This is about culture vs culture vs culture. ALL cultures need to unite to create one future, a unified future. No single culture in Aotearoa should be shown more importance, preference or favouritism than any other. Our small and precious country is perhaps the last place on earth to stir the 'melting pot' of cultures - let's do it with a grateful attitude and a happy heart.

Jil Sergent - School ground games and murals

Then to the Oystercatcher approaching the book stack of knowledge - 'the world is my oyster'. A computer mouse on top of the stack is just another means to obtain knowledge. Old versus new, script versus screen... Doesn't matter how you obtain good knowledge as long as you learn and grow and balance past with present, people with planet.

The DOC symbol in the native bush is about preserving our natural treasures, which still remain. Conservation needs to be a priority. The rock drawing pebble - something old. The wee alien - something new (maybe).

The final totem depicts the five main cultures that have and will be Aotearoa - Ancient NZ Celts, Waitaha, Maori, European,19th Century Celtic (Welsh, Irish, Scottish, English), Asian, Pacific Island - our multi-cultural stack of past and present. The base stone of the Waitaha with the spiral of eternal life, eternal growth. The female Poutokomanawa of the Maori to convey strength, status and dignity, is painted here by me representing my hope for a more female, child, family orientated future, moving away from the male, war, money, profit of the past.

Oak leaves, symbol of Frimley School. Knowledge is power. Education is the future.

Many people have shared with me their knowledge of NZ and their personal experiences in NZ history. Even the children had a lot to share, especially their lunches - with my good guard and company, Ruby, the hefty white moon dog.

This has been my largest and most intense mural to date. I had very little NZ history in my school education. This crash course of not only information, but priorities, has been a wild ride of me against time, weather, budget, conflicting facts, relevance, order, extremely close and talkative children and a very exciting and meaningful conclusion to my millennium.

P.S. And always in the background - where, when, how to fit the Waitaha and Ancient Celts, without being too 'culturally insensitive' to those who would deny their existence". - Jil of Aotearoa, 2003.

Artist: Jil Sergent, Jil of Aotearoa
Resene: Hastings and Napier ColorShops


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