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Wandin North children used their artistic talents and feelings about their home to brighten up a shopping strip.

Flowers, footballs, basketballs, leaves and fruit, birds and insects appear in the mosaic artwork beneath the tree outside the Bendigo Bank at the Wandin Shopping Precinct.

Yarra Ranges Council commissioned local artist Catherine Byatt to co-ordinate the community art project with students from Wandin North Primary School, Wandin North Preschool, and Wandin Yallock Primary School.

“I asked the children to think about what they love about living in Wandin and the Yarra Valley and to make small clay pieces to reflect their inspiration,” she said.

“We thought about the physical place around the base of the tree, favourite places, activities and opportunities available here, people, the flora and fauna.

“Children from Prep to Grade 6 set about busily crafting the orchards and trees, ploughed fields, tesserae for the wide sky, mountains and hills, footy oval, cars, shops, houses and sections of the Warburton Highway.”

The students learnt about Wandin’s endangered plant the bush pea, the growling grass frog and the powerful owl.

“Look closely and you may read evocative poetry from the Grade 5 and 6 students describing impressions of their town,” Ms Byatt said.

“Feel free to make a rubbing with pencil and paper of the Wandin sign, which was made by three-year-old children on the textured slabs.”

Mayor Len Cox said it was wonderful to see the students’ creativity and innovation.

“They’ve used some impressive techniques from sculpting to create the shapes in the tiles and carefully painted their work together,” he said.

“The mural tells a unique story about Wandin and what our future generations love about living here.”

Wandin Yallock Primary students have grown indigenous bush tucker plants from seedlings and will soon plant them around the base of the tree.

These include yam daisies, lemon bottlebrushes, silver banksia and vanilla lily.

The installation was part of the Wandin North Streetscape Project, which included consultation with the Wandin North Traders Group.

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