Western Riverina Arts delivered the Eco Deco Project in 2014 in partnership with Riverina Local Lands Services. Local Artists Melanie Baulch and Hape Kiddle ran art workshops with schools in Griffith and Leeton, using locally sourced resources from natural settings.

It was fascinating to see the individual artworks, as each was an expression of the vision and skills of that child. The results were varied, from domestic items to the fantastic, as well as things you might see in the natural world.

The materials were collected in a non-destructive and were used to inspire the children as well as introduce common items in their local landscapes. The kids were given a leaping-off point by starting with a story that they had landed on an island and had to make items.

The results were varied, as the workshop let the children decide what they would make from the materials. To help get them started the kids and artists talked about how people approach creative work, how some people draw or talk or feel as a way of generating ideas. How some prefer working in groups or on their own.

It was a great way to challenge the way people think about the environment through art. The aims were to raise awareness about the uses of natural resources, to challenge and extend talented young people, and to create meaningful teaching work for local artists. 

At the conclusion of the workshops artworks by children from Parkview and Murrami public school were on display in a professional gallery setting at the Roxy Art Gallery in Leeton and the Brett Naseby Gallery in Griffith. Many Kids brought their parents to share their unique works and the pride of their achievement.