Students from The Learning Connexion are always up for a challenge. So when Hutt City Council’s retail co-ordinator Cyndi Christensen asked if they’d be interested in designing shop window displays based on the children’s book ‘12 days of Kiwi Christmas’, they replied with a resounding "Yes!".
’The 12 days of Kiwi Christmas’ is a clever Kiwi twist on the centuries old Christmas carol we’ve all grown up with. Instead of the ubiquitous turtle-doves, maids-a-milking and a partridge in a pear tree, kids get to sing about stuff they know - jandals, marmite and a meat pie from the local dairy. And it’s these cornerstones of Kiwi culture that TLC students were charged to illustrate and present in 12 shop windows within the Hutt City CBD.
The displays, which include crocheted sausages, a clay pie and a collaged photo of a cat licking marmite out of a jar, form part of a competition in which kids are led, via a story trail map, to each shop window. In each of the displays is a secret letter for them to discover and record. Once all the shop windows are visited and the letters are gathered, they’ll be able to spell out the Christmas message in order to enter the competition and win an array of prizes.
The process has been a valuable one for TLC students who have had to design a brief for their art display in consultation with council members and shop retailers. For some, it was their first time creating site-specific art. By all accounts the experience has been a real buzz for students and they’ve gained genuine satisfaction from seeing the level of joy their displays are giving local children.
The displays will remain on view until Christmas, with the competition ending 24th December. Visit the website.