When I contemplated how to present ‘Identity’ in a display, the song ‘True colours’ by Cyndi Lauper came to mind:
And I'll see your true colours
I see your true colours
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colours
True colours are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
The rainbow had to be part of this display and that made the blue and grey background of the sky a logical consequence. It was more difficult to decide what the rainbow could be arching over. How do you represent an identity? Identities are not always clear cut personalities. We can be different personalities in different situations; we often show different parts of our personalities to different people and sometimes we feel the need to hide our true self behind a socially acceptable mask.
In society it is desirable to behave according to the norm. Some people fit in naturally; others have to adapt more or less. They adjust and squeeze a bit to fit in and sometimes may feel like puppets on a string.
These contemplations gave me the idea for a huge puppet with strings. And because it’s not only ‘others’ that pull our strings; we do it ourselves as well, I decided to let the strings hang down. The puppet can pull them itself or others can do it. I even could have put the strings in the hands of the puppet because whoever is pulling our strings; we let them do it. (ohhh, this is getting philosophical)
A totally different representative of identity or the change in identity is the caterpillar and subsequently the butterfly; two completely different identities showing their true colours.
By asking: ‘Identity; what’s your true colour?’ I hope that the viewers of the display are encouraged to have a look inside themselves and acknowledge their own true colours….or at least think about them!
What you need:
· Grey and blue wrapping paper
· Rainbow – Google Images – enlarged to A3 and laminated – cut to shape
· 13 A4 red cards for the puppet
· Striped and dotted images for jacket and shoe tops for the puppet
· Blue card to secure the string holes
· Moko tattoo for puppet head
· Butterflies and caterpillars and bees – I used images from the book: ‘Butterflies’ by Thomas Marent but Google images will give a good selection too – different sizes – laminated and cut to shape.
· 4 Masks of different colours – Two dollar shop
· Couple of boxes not only for displaying books but also to give depth to the display
What to do:
Divide the display board diagonally in half. Blue for the clear sky – grey for the cloudy part. I stapled a string to the opposite corners of the board. Top left to bottom right. Along that line you can drape your blue and grey wrapping paper. Arrange it with the shape of clouds in mind.
· Rainbow – mark the middle of the display board and decide how wide your rainbow will reach. Use a roller to mark the points where the bow will go. Use the dots you marked to draw a nice curvy bow. Staple the laminated rainbow pieces along the marked line. I had to cut the A3 pieces of the rainbow in lots of small pieces to get the required width without a ragged line.
· Mark the middle of the board under the rainbow and staple the middle of the puppet’s head to that mark. Staple the rest of the body and limbs to the board.
· Decide where you want to staple the blue laminated rounds to the head and top parts of the shoulders, arms and hands
and of course the knees and feet of the puppet where the strings would ‘hold up’ the puppet. Push the strings through the holes and staple them to the board. Staple the blue hole on top of the puppet to the board. I tried to use one staple to fix both.
· Staple the string to the top of the board and let them hang down.
· Glue the Moko, jacket and pieces of ‘fabric’ for the shoes to the puppet (you can do this in advance) or staple them now with the puppet to the board.
· Attach the Christmas lights along the bottom line of the rainbow and let them end in the hands of the puppet.
· Staple the title to the top of the board. Let some caterpillars crawl between the letters.
· Attach the masks to the board under the title. Let the strings of the mask swirl a bit to the sides.
· Fill the left side of the board with flying bees and right side of the board with butterflies. I stapled a couple of little branches to the board where they can perch on or hang from. I used the left-over branches from the’ Floral art and flying beauty’s display. Don’t staple the bees and butterflies flat to the board but ‘in action’: use the stapler to attach one or two staples to the board under the wings (as close as possible to the animals body) but make sure to let the staple stick out as far as possible – to lift up the wings.
· Cover the boxes with matching paper and if you have left-over butterflies and bees attach them to the boxes. Secure the book stands to the boxes with a small transparent piece of tape to make sure they don’t tumble down when touched.
· Arrange the display books on shelves and stands.
· Connect the Christmas lights and step back to enjoy your creation.