Artist Ania Maza is once again spending the summer teaching the Rock’s kids about nature and art with her Eco Art workshops in the Botanic Gardens.
Although she runs regular Eco Art workshops in the Alameda, these two-day workshops form part of the Summer Sports and Leisure programme.
The children do a variety of activities each day including hunting for “treasure”.
As they walk around the Botanical Gardens searching for items that can be transformed into pieces of art, such as palm tree leafs, bark from a tree, the children talk about the plants and insects that they see.
These natural canvases are then painted, decorated and transformed into a boat, ready to set sail on the pond within the garden.
All of the children were very excited to take their creations to the pond to see if they would float or go any distance. Sadly some were a bit hit and miss, while others needed to be adjusted and some sailed perfectly.
Whatever the outcome though, it was fun for all involved.
Ms Maza has been hosting Eco Art classes in the Alameda Gardens for ten years, every year she finds that the children surprise her more and more with what they have learnt.
She knows only too well the positive impact her programme and being among nature can have. She notes that some of the children tell her when they have reprimanded an adult for throwing litter on the floor or not recycling.
“They are not afraid to say something, while us adults would not. That is the great thing about children,” said Ms Maza.
Her programme is not just about using nature to create art pieces but also using plastic bottles and other recycled items. This she said is how the children learn about recycling and giving rubbish “a second life,” and how important that is.
“Nature is the best company the more we spend time around it and we feel more relaxed,” Ms Maza said.
She also believes that children become more confident in themselves the more they learn about the environment around them.
Pics by Johnny Bugeja