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Last modified: 25 Aug 2020 9:04am

Selwyn Libraries' Assistant Librarian Jade Bell and students Bradley Ward, Matt Bool and Noah Yates stand behind a blue dancing sculpture in Brookside Park

The dreams of a class of children at Rolleston School to make their community beautiful is coming true through a huge community effort.

Three statues of dancing children have been installed at Rolleston’s Brookside Park – the first of 21 statues to be installed around Rolleston as an eight-year dream is realised.

It all started in 2012 with an art project by a group of Year 2 students at Rolleston School, then teacher and now Selwyn Community Library Assistant Jade Bell says.

“We used the idea of dancing in a circle, to explore observational drawing skills, the students then used their drawings to design and create sculptures of dancing figures made out of wire. While working through this process the students decided that they wanted to do something to bring some beauty to their community. At that stage, what they were seeing was a lot of building sites.”

After eight years hard work a huge community effort has finally seen the statues in place.

The Rolleston Men’s Shed came on board, offering to build the statues for free. Businesses around the town have sponsored the materials for each statue, and the combined efforts of landscapers Morgan and Pollard and engineering firm Lumen will see the sculptures professionally installed at no cost.

Jade has also worked with the Council and the local Reserve Committee, which is providing locations for the sculptures.

“Initially the plan was to have a circle, but we’ve got 21 statues each representing one of the children, so we’ve identified a series of sites. The plan is, eventually we will create a trail for them and people will be able to visit them using the Township Trails Selwyn App.”

Bradley Ward, who designed the red sculpture installed at Brookside Park this week, says he felt very proud of the sculpture and that something he made was going to be in the park near his house for many years.

The experience was made more memorable by seeing his sculpture with two made by his friends, Noah and Matt. He is looking forward to seeing the sculptures everyday on his way to and from school.