By Kyra Gillespie
Local artist and student Hannah Prior has created a stunning floor to ceiling classroom mural at Nsambya Primary School in Uganda.
The 20-year-old travelled to the Katwe slum in the capital city of Kampala as a volunteer with not-for-profit organisation Project 10: Ten.
There, she created the hand-painted mural and taught painting and drawing to the local students.
Project: 10:Ten is a Melbourne-based organisation committed to working alongside and partnering with non-government organisations, school communities and churches to support the transformation of education and the advancement of Christian schooling in Uganda.
In the piece Hannah depicted beautiful native trees and a river, which she titled ‘Restoring Hope.’
“My thinking behind this small act was for the children to feel valued, inspired and encouraged to come to school, to use their creativity and to imagine things different from their immediate surroundings and circumstances,” Hannah said.
“The painting itself took two full days’ work and a morning, where the kids were able to see how a work is planned and carried out step by step to create an image.
“We spoke a lot about mixing colours and they learnt the primary colours and secondary colours by heart.
“On the afternoon of the first day of painting I got the kids to sit down and draw their own version of the mural.”
“At times while I was painting the kids would sing a lot of songs which was very funny,” Hannah said.
When she returned home, Hannah painted a portrait of one of the Ugandan students she worked alongside.
“Through the delicate brush strokes I hoped to convey a glimpse of the joy, excitement and wonder of the children of Katwe slum,” Hannah added.
The recent trip has inspired Hannah to continue working with the community through her art.
“The trip to Uganda has cemented my love for community-based art projects.
“It brings everything I love together: children, teaching, art and even music.
Hannah is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design at Australian Catholic University and works as a children’s art tutor in a Neighbourhood House.
“I will continue to do community based art projects.
“I believe that through art I can make a change.”