01 December 2010

Rambling in two directions

Julie Heyward keeps forcing me to spend money on buying books I hadn't otherwise encountered ... most recently, The philosophy of childhood.

The final chapter of this book considers, at length, a favourite hobby horse of mine: the assumption, a priori, that art generated by children is necessarily inferior to that of adults. Every now and then, somebody enters a painting by a child into a prestigious art competition and then, when it is accepted, crows that this shows the meaningless of that competition, or of modern art, or of the sponsoring institution, or the incompetence of the judges, or whatever ... whereas to me it seems more to suggest poverty of perception on the part o the prankster. Why should this assumption of inferiority be made? Many things are (or, at least, can be) gained and refined with time as we grow ... but many things are lost, too. It seems to me that at the root of the assumption is a subjectively ruthless and objectively unjustified need to believe that we are better "now" than we were "then" ... whether or not it is actually so.

Moving back from the book to the person who suggested it ... I continue to prepare the lecture series on landscape art, and intend to use one of Julie Heyward's "composited" photosculptures to illustrate particular points. But which one? Yesterday I spent several hours wrestling with the task of choosing not just a single example but even the preliminary selection of a series from which that example is to be chosen. As today draws to a close, I am no farther for'ard. Any choice made is going to leave a forest of heartbreaking choices regretfully abandoned.

Ah, it's a hard life...

  • Gareth B Matthews, The philosophy of childhood. 1996, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. 0674664817.


Julie Heyward said...

[Very Big Smile]

Well, I ... well ... [Very, Very Big Smile]

Acerone said...

Kirstin's observations are so advanced that only a nieve mind, free from all the misconceptions and reasons that we gather, could genuinely think like this...
The world is made up out of colours - she is right. And i love the theory that if there were no words, there would be no world.

There is defintely a painting to be from that thought.

Thanks for putting me onto Julie's post, i will no doubt be thinking about this a lot over the weekend. Especially when i have my 2 year old all day on Saturday!