Posts tagged ‘Visual Arts’

May 31, 2011

Stone Cold Bottoms

Following up from my ‘Tesla Magic’ post I’ve been thinking about the art experience and children.

When we think of children and art we tend to think of finger painting in pre-school and lino cuts at primary school, but it doesn’t have to be art at their level, so to speak.

I’m quite careful not to ‘dumb down’ my language for our kids. As a speech and drama teacher I value language – its complexity, its subtlety, its nuances. I want our boys to develop an excellent command of English, and indeed, any language that they later care to learn. With this in mind, I speak to them in the language that I feel best transmits the message I have for them. I use long words, obscure words, any and all appropriate words – and sentence structures too. I do, of course, understand that they won’t always comprehend these more ‘grown up’ utterances so I’m also happy to provide a ‘little person’ translation when what I’ve said draws a blank look.

The point is, that I realize that, in the same way that we expose our children to language, we can expose them to art, including the visual arts.

We had our boys with us at the Sarjeant Gallery on the weekend. Our youngest was his usual placid self and either drank things in quietly or had enough of his own thoughts to occupy him. Our three year old, however, charged around and had a good look at everything in his quite active way. He found the wooden dogs in the Song of the Woods collection of some interest and was, I hear, quite intrigued by a manufactured tree with bits of person dangling from it. My husband was most amused, however, when our little man discovered a statue of two men wrestling. “Dey got no pants on!” he declared. Indeed they were nude. He then had to touch their marble bottoms to see what this was all about. Then their curly hair.

I’m not exactly sure what he took from the experience but I’m sure he filed a few new ideas away in his wee brain.

Take your children to an art gallery once in a while, just as you would a museum. Expose them to these things. They might have to be short trips to match short attention spans, but that’s OK. You can go back for another look later.

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September 23, 2010

Everyone likes to talk about himself, but . . .

. . writing about oneself is a different matter. I have to write an Artist’s Statement to go with my exhibited fine art work. I’m finding it difficult to keep my mind focussed. I’ve done a little brainstorming (I like to mind-map) and now I’m drafting my first paragraph. I’m still in that stage when the ideas are whirling around so fast in my head that they’re hard to catch and jot down. I know that if I try for long enough and get enough on paper the hurricane swirl will slow and the rest will come more easily.

Be still my beating h . . no, no, be still my whirring mind.

September 14, 2010

Where does photography end and digital art begin?

The EPSON / NZIPP Iris Professional Photography Awards have ended for another year. You can see the results and winning entries here:   http://www.nzipp.org.nz/NzippWeb/Default.aspx?tabid=343.

I confess to being somewhat perturbed upon browsing the winning images. It seems to me that there is less and less photography involved, and more and more manipulation and invention. Some are almost unrecognisable as photographs, appearing more like drawings or digital art.

So, where is the line drawn between photography (now highly digitised) and digital art? Might photographers using more traditional methods be more and more marginalised as we resist the tide that throws photographers ever farther out into the a sea swept along by software, by actions and digital brushes. How much time should a photographer be spending at the computer?

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