27 April 2007 - 27 May 2007, Heleneum - Lugano
Sugli scudi! was the second appointment in the ‘Dèibambini’ exhibition cycle. The educational project studied the Melanesian shields that are conserved by the museum and included the participation of 75 children from four different primary schools in Lugano (first, second, fourth and fifth years of primary school). It was a joint collaboration between the Museo delle Culture and the Municpal Education Insititute of Lugano.
The children worked on this project during the course of six months. They visited the museum several times and had specific activities in school on the subject of shields. They explored the different meanings of a shield and they reflected on the multitude of shapes, functions and styles. At the end of this educational journey, they decorated of their own shield to demonstrate the value of their experience. The children's shields combined the functional aspects closest to their own needs. Among the various decorations, the most defensive ones were the work of younger children: spiders, sharks, jellyfish, bears and skulls have admirably accomplished the task of protecting the shield's owner from his/her fears and the dangers that these very elements represent. The 75 artworks prove that the shield is an object full of evocative power and incentives. Most decorations are characterized by interior and cultural forms that exorcize phobias and fears. The children compared their own culture with faraway (both in terms of space and time) cultures, and were able able to express themselves freely. This provides adults with an insight of original creativity, which may be valuable for the personal growth of everyone. The exhibition catalogue was designed by Maurice Hoderas. He also took the photographs of the children with their shields, which they were encourged to "activate" for the photo shoot. The catalogue also includes various essays by Roberto Ritter (school Inspector), Isabella Lenzo (responsible for pedagogical activities at the Department of Cultural Activities) and Nathalie Bassi (primary school teacher).