This week I’ve had a flashback to a project I was involved with in the Summer of 2006. In conjunction with Shisha (the international agency for South Asian visual arts & crafts), I conducted a series of Rangoli workshops with the Year 6 students of St. Edwards Roman Catholic Primary School, in Rusholme, Manchester UK. They used grains and pulses to complete their designs, which initiated a conversation about food; variety, availability and origins. We thought it might be fun to study food in more detail, so after a series of still-life drawing and watercolor painting sessions, we scanned and reproduced the images for use on our larger Rangoli designs. The result was a series of beautiful, mosaic-style Rangoli panels using images of food, both exotic and familiar, to create the stunning patterns.
The project was successful on many levels: engaging students in art practice, promoting an understanding of cultural diversity and identity, and fostering community pride.