Whenever Mr Barraclough saw one of Luke’s pictures, he went off his brain.
“Why do you do this, boy?” he yelled.
Luke didn’t know. So he said nothing.
All the boys in Luke’s class see things the same way – except Luke. So every Friday in Art class, all the boys paint what is in front of them – but Luke paints things the way he sees them, with bright colours, or noses and ears in the wrong places. When he does this, Mr Barraclough goes ballistic. Even Luke’s class mates think he’s odd, and Luke feels like he does’t fit in. Until he visits an anrt gallery and feels right at home. Suddenly his whole world changes.
Luke’s Way of Looking is a celebration of difference and of creativity from the award-wining pairing of Nadia Wheatley and Matt Ottley. First published in 1999 and now re-released as part of the Walker Classics series this is a beautiful and important picture book offering.
Luke’s Way of Looking , by Nadia Wheatley & Matt Ottley
Walker Books, 2012
Available from good bookstores or online .
Ngurra means country and homeland.
Ngurra means campsite and cave.
Ngurra means nest and burrow.
Ngurra means home.
Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle were asked to devise a project to build harmony among inner city children of diverse backgrounds. They took 16 children from Muslim, Catholic and public schools on a walk through the local bush. Over a number of weeks, they introduced them to the land and its traditional owners and to each other. Going Bush is a journal of their experience, including artwork, prose and poems from the children, tied together by Nadia Wheatley’s words and Ken Searle’s artwork and photos.
Going Bush brings the classroom to the environment, sharing its many faces with a group of children, many of them seeing it closely for the first time. There are stories of the Eora, traditional owners, and stories of white settlers and what they brought with them. This is living history, walking the path walked by others, stopping and feeling their presence, their knowledge, their legacy. By understanding the past, and the diversity of the land and its people, there is hope that the future can bring harmony. Going Bush contains many narrative forms, and must touch on every possible curriculum area. But its overwhelming message is about the power of the connection between people, and between people and land. Recommended for primary readers.
Going Bush, by Nadia Wheatley and Ken Searle,
Allen & Unwin 2007