The young meet the ancients

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Australian megafauna and students from four Territory schools have enlivened the Territory Wildlife Park’s new playground.

The two-year project to replace the old jaded play area has created a precinct dominated by long extinct animal giants of the Pleistocene Epoch.

Students from Sattler Christian College, and Woodroffe, Durack and Berry Springs primary schools illustrated the behemoths.

Local artist Janie Andrews made clay versions of their diagrams and taught the students to paint them with professional clay glazes. She then kiln fired the tiles.

Ms Andrews fitted the handmade pottery pieces to make mosaics in the playground.

“Three concrete water pipes were turned on their sides to make crawl spaces,” she said.

“A cylinder was assigned to each government school, and the inside walls of these tunnels are now decorated with the megafaunal themes of the primary schools.

“Woodroffe students focused on Megafauna of the Sea. Durack illustrators concentrated on Megafauna of the Air, and Berry Springs’ artists drew Megafauna of the Land.”

Ms Andrews and Sattler Christian College students helped make a ground-based circular mosaic.

“The metre wide paver is one of 14 in the playground,” she said. “I designed the saltwater crocodile that dominates this artwork, but the college students helped make the tiles.”

The playground also includes a giant goanna, a natural timber semi-elevated cubby house, a huge fossil dig sandpit, recycled dinghies, and mushroom-shaped stepping stones made from recycled gas bottles.

The supersized megafauna make a distinction with smaller descendants in the park.

The young meet the ancients
Mosaic inside a pipe. Insets (top left) Little girl stands in a crawl through pipe (bottom right) Durack Primary School student with painted, unglazed tile.

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