Who would of thought you can turn a cow into a table?

Cranebook High School, can that’s who!!!!!!!!

Third cab off the rank on day 2 of the Archibull Prize 2011 was Cranebrook High School in Western Sydney where the agriculture team under the guidance of the hard working and much loved Dani Saxon signed up for a second year of the Archibull Prize.

This year students from year 8 to 11 collaborated to tell the story of sheep with the assistance of two life size fibreglass calves.  

Here is the background in the students own words

We learnt about sheep production, the processes of farm gate to plate and ensuring the sustainability of our future.

In the creation of our Archibull’s we focused on sheep production, both meat and fleece. We incorporated this industry with sustainability and the farm gate to plate process themes to present to the judges our two bulls.

One Bull shows the history, process and variation through the fleece industry. The colours of the bull resemble a large quilt, with the white stitching between each colour. The painted tools scattered across this quilt show the history of shearing (showing the old hand shears and the modern electronic shears). The other tools are those used for husbandry practices on the majority of sheep farms in Australia (including the drench gun, elastrator and shears). The French knitted fleece over the bull symbolises the bleaching, dying and processing stages of fleece. For natural fleece to be usable by commercial produces, much of it must be dyed to suit the consumer demand (in this case it is blue). The French knitting gives the viewer a clear image of the products created from sheep fleece.

Cranebrook’s second bull shows more of the farm gate to plate processes, incorporating sheep within it. On one side of this bull there are lush paddocks of pasture and extensive breeding of sheep and other farm animals. The Woolworths truck (a sponsor of the Archibull Prize) shows the long packaging, processing and transporting stage of most agricultural products. Having the Woolworths truck driving straight onto the dining table, on the opposite side of the bull, gives the idea of the farm gate to plate process (explaining to the viewer where there food and fibre come from). The opposite side of the bull (the dining table) shows the products from these animals and crops, such as the hamburger, sauces, chicken, fruit and vegetables. This gives the viewer a direct connection with the bull’s, as most of these products are found on everyday dining tables.

Cranebrook’s second bull shows the farm gate to plate processes

Starting our Archibull’s was probably the most difficult stage of the Archibull Prize, combing all the ideas from across the school into two bull’s. Several classes ranging from year 8 to year 11 contributed ideas and sketches, which were put together and rearranged by our teachers.

Once we had created the final design we began painting our base colours on both bull’s. On the table bull the legs were painted in a brown colour, to resemble the wooden legs of a table, whilst one side of the body was painted blue with a green horizon and the other side a peachy pink of a dining room.  On the fleece bull we painted large patchy areas of bright colours and small white markings around each section (stitch marks).

To create our dining bull we cut out pieces of thin wood for the table (which was lots of fun, trying to make the wood fit around the shape of the bull). We then glued large blocks of wood on the sides of the body and attached the table. After time the table eventually fell off (ooops!) and we decided to drill the table onto the bull rather than glue. We then placed the pasture of grass on the blue side and a cliché dining room tablecloth (red and white checked) on the other. Once the pasture and tablecloth was in place, the real fun began. We used plastic foods, animals and other crafty items to create a farm and a dining room. On the dining side we placed two plates of food, in front of two dining table chairs. On these plates consisted of agricultural products such as beef, chips and sauces. This shows the processes from the other side of the bull and shows the viewer where their food comes from. The window on the wall shows the view of the paddock from inside the dining room, with the sheep in the distance. This connects both the production and consumption of sheep. On the opposite side the small pond, surrounded by ducks and geese shows the biodiversity of a farm, and symbolises the water and nutrients needed to run a farm. The hay feeders scattered in the paddock shows the effort put into farms to correctly manage animals and provide nutrients for livestock. The various species of farm animals show the many different kinds of agricultural products produced to feed Sydney for a day.

Cranebrook’s second bull was created through the painting of tools and equipment used to produce sheep. The old hand shears show the history of shearing mechanism, compared to the electronic shears used now. These were painted on by using our own tools used on our school farm. A drench gun, elastrator, castrating knife, NLIS tags and ear tagger are also found on the bull, to show the husbandry practices used to produce sheep. Without these tools many livestock would die from pests and disease and many could not be identified. Once the basis of these shapes were painted we added definition and detail to create a more realistic image of them. We then attached the French knitting to the bull, which resembles the processing of natural wool (dying, bleaching and spinning).

The Archibull Prize journey was amazing, we learnt so much about the production of many different agricultural products, learning where our food and fibre comes from and how they reach our homes.

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