A unique interactive installation exploring how homes and people make a community brings the early learning sector to the Castlemaine State Festival for the first time.
The Little House Project is the initiative of accomplished central Victorian artist and specialist in early learning arts teaching, Ann Ferguson.
In early 2017 Ann and Kaori Fujimoto ran workshops with 180 pre-school children in the Mount Alexander Shire. Using the Victorian Early Years Learning Framework themes of Being, Belonging and Becoming, the children explored their connection with family and home by creating their own little clay houses.
Cutting, stamping and painting their tiny clay creations, the children also played with pre-made ceramic houses and soft clay, creating their own streetscapes and towns and sharing stories about home, environment and community.
Now glazed and fired, the little houses will become an interactive installation at the Castlemaine Art Museum for the duration of the Festival; a place where children and adults can play and build their own tiny towns.
This is the latest evolution of the Little House Project, something Ann has been working on in one form or another since her time as a specialist teacher at the University of Melbourne in 2004.
“I’m delighted by how well everything has come together,” says Ann. “I’ve been extremely well supported by the community, from the pre-schools, kindergartens and childcare centres to LaTrobe University, the Festival team, my assistant Kaori and local craftsman Mark Anstey who built the table for the exhibition, everyone has been just fantastic.”
At the completion of the exhibition and the Festival, the little houses will return to the centres as resources for ongoing play and exploration of the theme.
“This ongoing work is just as important as the exhibition,” says Ann. “While the exhibition will be beautiful, by taking the houses back to play with in their own spaces the children will be able to continue to explore the ideas of being, belonging and becoming and what they really mean to them.”
The Little House Project
Castlemaine Art Museum
14 Lyttleton Street Castlemaine
18 – 26 March 10am – 5pm (closed Tuesdays)
Waller Realty is pleased to be able to provide financial support to The Little House Project.
The Little House Project is part of the Festival’s ASCEND* education program. *ASCEND – Arts, Society, Community, Education, Nurture, Development.