Milkwood Steiner School: Winter Solstice Honeycomb Spiral

Winter Solstice Honeycomb Spiral

Alison Dowell is a long-time Darwin artist with a versatile community arts practice. Her now adult children attended Milkwood many years ago, and she is a precious, inspiring member of our community.

Alison’s work, ‘Impressions of Darwin’ celebrates cultural diversity and unity; each of its 1596 ceramic tiles is similar but different. They are imprinted with tea canister lids representing the artist’s London Docklands origin, along with items from Darwin. Many of the children were familiar with this artwork, which is now permanently installed at the Casuarina food court. 

Thank you Alison Dowell for visiting our school and talking about your art. We loved hearing stories about your Nan, and learning how you came to create this piece. Full of inspiration, children have made their own tiles this week, which will form a whole-school artwork. These tiles will form a beautiful Solstice honeycomb spiral, in which each child will get to place themselves in a larger spiral form – just like we do in other years, in our lantern festival!

Our striking new artwork was assembled and installed over the holidays. Our Winter Solstice honeycomb spiral includes a tile made by every child at Milkwood, inspired by artist Alison Dowell’s Impressions of Darwin and her fabulous guest artist presentation at Milkwood in Term 2.


Thank you to all the teachers and children for creating such careful, diverse impressions. Thank you Alison and Anula Primary School for your guidance, use of your kilns and all that you inspired. Thank you Ingrid from Jacksons Art Supplies for taking time to explore techniques with us. Thank you Elizabeth, Jacqueline, Bes, Ollie, Celeste and Stella for painting and glossing each tile. Thank you Isabelle, Tina and Brendan for your strength in lifting and installing this enormous, heavy piece! And enormous thanks to Sarah and Alison for assembling the artwork. We can’t stop marvelling at Sarah’s stunning frame, and acknowledge her enormous, constant contribution of her skills, creativity and care for this space.

~ Netanela Mizrahi