FLAG MAKERS: Tahunanui School students Juniper Stratford, 8, and Saul Cooper, 7, with their drawings of what they love about Nelson. The drawings will form the design for 30 large flags for the Nelson Arts Festival. Photo: Kate Russell.

Kids inspire flag project

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The creative juices were flowing at Tahunanui School on Friday afternoon as around 100 kids drew down their ideas of what they love about Nelson.

Beaches, walking tracks, sunshine and trees were all there – even the seven stars of Matariki.

The imagery will be the inspiration for the design of 30 giant flags, which will adorn Founders Heritage Park in October for the Nelson Arts Festival.

Award winning Auckland multi-media artist Miranda Brown was in town last week running a series of school and public workshops.

She will take away all the different ideas from the community and use them create the flags.

The two-time winner of World of WearableArt has work held in collections at Te Papa and some of her flags have appeared at WOMAD, Splore and on the Auckland waterfront.

As well as Tahunanui School, Miranda held workshops at St Josephs, Nelson Central, Riwaka, Ranzau and Mapua.

There were also community workshops at Founders Park.

“I think we’ve had about 500 – 600 people participate,” she says. “Nelson has really embraced the project, and I’m getting so much local knowledge.”

Councillor Gaile Noonan, chair of the community services committee, says The Flag Project is a great opportunity for locals to the tell the story of Nelson’s long connection to the arts.

“Knowing the flags are being inspired by Nelsonians and how they feel about our city really gives the flags a sense of belonging.”

After the festival, the flags will be gifted to the city and reused for other events.