Our Community SuperDragon has brought together people from different cultures – Wales, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Turkey, Africa, and China. People from all walks of life with amazing stories to tell.
We have made new friends and found hidden artistic talents – all through working together on this incredible 3D canvas whose design began life as a symbol of friendship, using outlines of each others’ hands filled with patterns which mean something to the people who drew them.
Mendhi patterns feature heavily, as they are drawn at times of happiness and on important occasions.
It was great seeing the women paint these intricate patterns from memory, so quickly without even using a pencil as guide.
The design was to be organic, and flourished as more people added to it. The blossom tree as well as the plant forms symbolise growing friendships, linking the individual patterns together signifying the need to have greater understanding of cultures different to our own.
This is the fundamental purpose of the work carried out here for more than 25 years at Community House by inspiring Community development /workers and volunteers.
The Chinese script in gold leaf says: ‘Friendship’ and ‘World Peace’.
The bright pink Urdu script on the scales says: ‘Discipline, Unity, Faith, Belief.’ Words by Qaid a Azam, the Founder of Pakistan.
The shapla flower, national flag and bird on the underbelly is a symbol of Bangladesh.
One of the designs (on the side of the Dragon’s neck , on the side without the tail) was a copy of a piece of jewellery given to one of the Bangladeshi women on her wedding day – as a symbol of good luck.
One of the dragon’s wings depicts a modern symbol of friendship, from South Africa. The cross shaped ‘chair’ with the round faces on each arm and dotted lines in the centre symbolise the many friends we meet along the road – our life’s journey – the people who cross our paths, who fill our lives with joy or sadness when we lose them. The squiggles in the middle and along the top (the sky)of the wing symbolise the energy that surrounds us, the energy we need to summon up in order to keep our friendships going! The characters on the right are friends joined together, spreading this positive message of unity with the mask in the centre as protector.
This was the first time that I had worked on a public art commission with a group of 13 enthusiastic volunteers.
The experience was a fantastic opportunity for me not only to meet some very talented people and discover their stories but to be able to encourage many hidden talents.
Some shy individuals didn’t think that they could do anything worthy of a SuperDragon - yet they produced some of the best artwork whilst others asked about the chance to work on more creative projects in the future.
Thank you, SuperDragons for giving us this chance to work together, we’ve enjoyed every minute of it!
Rozeen Shafique, Bonnie So Wai Yu, Nurcan Celimli
Ghazala Abbas, Thalia Sun, Brian Selby
Saima Batool, Sultana Begum-Chumke, Jayne Saddler
Uzma Ali Norbert Mbu-Mputu
Afia Ijaz, Farheen Hanif
Special thanks to: Marilyn Priday, SusanLewis, Sheila Simmons and Ingrid Wilson.
With thanks also to Newport MIND & Newport Chinese Community Centre.
Text by Marion Webber – (Community Art project co-ordinator for Community House, Eton Road)
Community House is the first ever Peace Mala accredited community centre...
Same organisation - New Management
Still 'building up a caring community'