“My Place”: whimsical stories from Mount Hawthorn Primary students

Briony and James with student artwork

This year, Mount Hawthorn Primary School invited myself and fellow author/illustrator Briony Stewart to collaborate on a 13-week residency project.

Our project was called ‘My Place’. The aim for each year four student (all 87 of them) was to complete a polished story and accompanying illustration based upon their favourite place in Mount Hawthorn. They also made the amazing map you see above!

Hit the link to see more work by the kids.

We worked with all three classes of year 4s across terms two and three. Each week we took the classes for writing sessions and illustration sessions. We talked about how to get ideas, how to start stories, how to use figurative language, how to draw settings and how to draw expressive faces and bodies.

We’ve finally finished the bulk of the project! The school had a special assembly yesterday to celebrate the completion of the stories and illustrations, and the City of Vincent mayor John Carey officially launched the project. All the artwork was exhibited in the art room; see below for photos.

Huge thanks to the school for making us feel so welcome and supported through the project; to Bronte Pyett who assisted with the grant application; to all the year four teachers who let us invade their classes; and to the art teacher Rosie Edmiston for being our project coordinator and champion.

And a sincere thanks to ArtsEdge for supporting our project, with funding from the Australia Council for the Arts, the WA Department of Education and the WA Department of Culture and the Arts.

You can find all the students’ stories and illustrations on the Mount Hawthorn Primary School website.


AiR grants program logo

This Artist-In-Residence Grants Program project has been assisted by the Federal Government through the Australia Council for the Arts and the Western Australian State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Department of Education.

logo for the Australia Council for the Arts logos for Departments of Culture and the Arts / Education and artsedge

Author: James Foley

James Foley makes children’s books for children who read books. If you’re a child and you’re eating his books, you’re doing it wrong. His books include Brobot, Dungzilla, Gastronauts, Chickensaurus, Toffle Towers, My Dead Bunny and There's Something Weird About Lena. James lives in Perth with his wife, 2 kids, and a labrador. He is a massive Marvel movie nerd and comes from a long line of queuing enthusiasts. Follow him on FB/twitter/insta/youtube @jamesfoleybooks, or at www.jamesfoley.com.au .

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