The Pasadena Panel
This panel has been painted as a ceremonial quilt to celebrate the diversity of our school community.
Throughout the panel are symbols and images that are evocative for many cultures. These images are layered and
intermingled just as the many cultures are intertwined in our community. Many of the symbols have similar
meanings for different countries which again displays the unity of thinking of many different backgrounds.
Some of the symbols are:
- The central twisted pendant, the Pikorua, represents the bonding together of people and
cultures in friendship, inclusiveness and caring. This pendant is layered onto a square of a plaid, woollen
blanket, representing our European forebears who colonized these shores. Below this is a panel of raranga or
woven harakeke, a symbol that evokes the memories of the ancestors and the arts they brought with them to
Aotearoa. The stair-like pattern represents the steps of knowledge.
- The kete is a symbol for the container of knowledge and wisdom and also to depict the
sharing of kai.
- The endless knot, shown as a Celtic knot, is an important symbol in many cultures to
represent the infinite pathway of an uninterrupted life cycle. It can also evoke meanings of endless wisdom
and compassion and the closed cycle of cause and effect.
- The crocheted motif is included as a tribute to the skills of traditional European
handcrafts which are passed down through the generations as a family treasure. It is therefore also in
honour of all that we are able to learn from our elders and to pass on to our children.
- Triangles feature in many cultures, including Polynesian and African, to depict strength
and determination, stability and inner repose.
- Flowers are a common symbol of many nations: Frangipani, a common motif in the Pacific,
signifies shelter and protection; Hibiscus is shown here as a tivaevae panel, a major art form of the Cook
Islands. Tivaevae is a communal activity and the quilts are often given as a gift of love and friendship and
are widely used on ceremonial occasions, becoming family heirlooms. The hibiscus is also the national flower
of Malaysia where it signifies peace and bravery. The Lotus flower is an important symbol in India, China
and Japan where it represents long life, honour and good fortune. It also stands for triumph for even though
the lotus is planted in mud, it can survive to regenerate for thousands of years. Also, although it grows in
mud it remains pure and produces beautiful flowers therefore it stands for purity of heart and mind.
These are just some of the symbols and images used on the quilt. There are many more waiting to be explored and
Toni has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and has worked in many areas of design including furniture, interiors,
colour consulting, decorative paint finishes and garden design. More recently she has devoted more time to her
painting and art-making skills, exhibiting locally. Throughout her children’s schooling she has always been
heavily involved in the classroom with assisting or running art projects with the children, a particular passion