Ephemeral Designs: Compositions in the Garden

Ephemeral Designs: Compositions in the Garden

Inspired by Andy Goldsworthy

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As a KMS value, environmental awareness means building an understanding and compassion for the world around us.  Working in a natural setting, like the garden, nurtures the child’s empathy and builds a deep understanding of their role as caring members of the world. 

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Since the start of the year, the Elementary children have been immersed in cultivating to the KMS garden.  A proposal was made that we should decorate the grey tiles that cover the ground in the garden.  When discussing how we could decorate the tiles, I shared a book about the work of artist Andy Goldsworthy.  We talked about how his designs in nature are temporary, or ephemeral.  The students were struck by his compositions with leaves and rocks, as well as his idea of “rain shadows”(laying in the rain to see the imprint you leave behind).  Children began to work in the garden, building designs with rocks and leaves, creating “rain shadows” of their handprints with water,  and painting stones with watercolors. 

Every new day we enter the garden, children notice how their work has changed, either through natural elements or human impact.  In this way, they are embracing the idea of change, and the beauty in transience.  This is an ongoing process; as we continue to explore and decorate the garden tiles, we will be leaving our mark, visible or not.       

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