When Maggy at Red Ted Art recently mentioned her idea for a linky to encourage the introduction of Art-with-a-capital-A to children, I got a little bit excited. I don’t remember Art Galleries or Museums so much when I was a child, which is more a reflection of my life overseas and my generation than a judgement on my upbringing. I remember going all the way from school in Yorkshire down to London for the day to see ‘proper’ Art as part of my GCSE curriculum. It was terrifying: I didn’t know how to look at paintings, what to say, even whether I should talk or not whilst walking round the Exhibitions. It wasn’t until I was fully and permanently resident in the South of England that I got to feel comfortable talking about art, what I like or don’t like, without feeling that I was a fraud of some kind.
DH and I recently went to see the Hockney Exhibition at The Royal Academy- so in demand that they had to stay open until midnight- and I was surprised to note how many young children were there, even at 10 o’clock at night, which would ordinarily be after my bedtime. In fact, now I think about it, every age group was well-represented, which was entirely understandable: it was marvellous. And I will write about it more- since if you haven’t yet seen it, your next chance will be in Bilbao- as LBG and I will be using his trees as basis for a project soon.
You can see that I have already been inspired by Maggy’s idea- inspired at the very least to introduce LBG to Art-with-a-capital-A- to investigate how the Great Artists create such great work. It’s an opportunity too to introduce LBG to the internet. She hasn’t had much cause or desire to use our lappytops up until now, unless it is to watch animals sneezing on YouTube, but is beginning to look over my shoulder when I am online, and has been asking to look at pictures in greater detail on Facebook and so on. So we took a cruise round Pinterest, finding Art that we liked and making a Board for our Art Adventure. It’s fascinating talking about why she likes a particular piece, how she thinks they made the shapes, the swooshes and so on.
Spot Painting, 1986, Damien Hirst [source]
Which is how we came to create our very first masterpiece. She insisted that Damien Hirst was a fan of stickers. Fortunately for her, so am I and I had a stash of spot stickers just waiting to be put into action. That’s pretty much all there was to it, in all honesty: 540 dots, one piece of white card and an hour of quiet time together, working side by side to cover the card with the stickers.
Using a bowl as a template, I drew a circle on some white card and we used yet more stickers to fill the circle to emulate another well-known piece by Hirst.
LBG was proud of her final piece, and was keen to repeat the experience. She likes Art, she says: she really likes pink. I’ll keep this for posterity- and to flog on Four Rooms if she becomes the next Damien Hirst. But for now, I’ll need to make a suitable frame for it.