The making of Beacon School’s Matisse-Inspired Mosaic Mural


By Lena Dajani (Art Reach Bahrain) & Manuella Makhlouf (Art Teacher, Beacon Private School)

It started out as a suggestion to beautify an area in our school and then it all took off and grew exponentially into something so much more. The idea was to create a space of tranquility where learners and teachers could get away to take a few deep breaths and practice mindfulness, a cornerstone of our philosophy for the well-being of our learners.

Our school mural was a collaborative effort between Art Reach Bahrain, the learners (Grades 6-10), parents & teachers of our school as a legacy mural: a gift from Beacon students to future generations to inspire and celebrate the spirit of creative collaboration. Funding for the mural was a combined effort supported by the school management as well as students & teachers.

The learners were challenged! But by persevering they:

  • Acquired new technical skills in the art of mosaic-making.
  • Acquired soft skills – to work as a team and how through a joint effort they can collectively improve their school environment.
  • Learned about Henri Matisse, a 19th century French artist who valued and captured nature in his unique way using paper cut-outs. Art history crosses time, space and cultures and we continue to learn from Matisse’s mastery of color and design.

Meeting for in-person workshops after school was necessary to replace students’ screen time with social interaction in a (newly opened) post-covid environment. It’s widely understood that the mental health of our youth and society as a whole suffered during the pandemic. We strongly believe that community art initiatives can make our society stronger by building on human connections and the spirit of collaboration.

The fund-raising for the installation of the mosaic mural was a tremendous effort where we raised BD 660 through dressing up as a favourite artist, water fun play on a lawn slippery slide, and water sponge wars. The school paid for the bulk of the cost of the actual mosaic, while the money raised paid for the balance and cost of the installation.

We are currently working with the learners to redesign the space and create that space of tranquility. We are currently looking at two more phases to this project to be carried out over the next two years.

For more information on Beacon Private School, visit their website or call 6600 0088.

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