Art Residency at Yew Chung International School

Early days, Mike in his studio starting his mosaic

Wow!  Time is racing away.  The weather is warm and muggy and gone are the days when chilly winds raced through our studios and Mike would tie down his paintings so they wouldn’t be blown around.  He would seek refuge in my space which is more closed off to the weather.  The studios are located in temporary spots arranged for us while we are here, one near an open air stairwell and the other in an alcove accessing a lift well and maintenance rooms.  Now Mike’s studio is gorgeous with the airflow and I am the one to take a breather there.

Shona and Roger Hackworth (Collaborate Ltd), in her studio

Its been a huge two months already.  Mike has almost finished his mosaic for the school.  It is 2 metres x 2.4 metres and represents one of the philosophies of the school as written in poetry by Professor Yip, a director of the Foundation for the school.  “As we gaze at the enormous sky, we are enchanted by the immensity of Space, and we realize the fragility of human beings.  This awareness humbles us to become thankful for everything.”  I think the Chinese of this interpretation would be more exquisite, but still, we love the initiative the school has taken to really living and being aware of the Whole around them.  China is so vast and the population, massive.  It seems timely as they emerge into the 21st century that education in China is starting to take measures to express human awareness and collaboration, rather than its expendability and isolation against the whole.

Mike's mosaic, nearly finished

I have completed a series of sculptures during my time here, influenced by our time in Thailand drawing the delicate beach flotsam I found each day on our explorations.  Also, the Yew Chung Foundation asked me to create a sculpture based on my ‘Harvest’ series to represent another of its philosophies from the poetry of Professor Yip; “We touch the earth with our hands and appreciate Nature with our hearts”. The school will place two of the bronze editions at the Yew Chung international schools in Beijing and Hong Kong for its collection and the remainder of the 8 editions, I have donated to the Foundation’s ‘Seeds of Hope’ program to raise money to build schools for the underprivileged in China.  Extraordinarily, the sale of the 6 editions is enough to build a school, so it feels like a wonderful opportunity if the school is able to take advantage of its extensive network and fund raising events to sell the works.

Shona's 'Harvest' sculpture for Seeds of Hope

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