Art – (un)limited by time and place
The locals have come up with an interesting one to deter the local kiddies (young ones and not so young ones) from covering the place with graffiti. Here’s a step-by-step –
- Acquire a couple of sheets of plywood from somewhere or other
- Affix said plywood to railings of centrally-located sports courts
- Affix sign telling the kiddies that if they absolutely want to exercise a bit of graffiti in the local area they have to use that boarding and nothing else
- Wait to see product of kiddies graffiti work
- Wait a month to see product of kiddies graffiti work
Anyhow, its now working. The boarding is now covered with spray paint but here’s my question. Is it pretty? Is it art? Or is it a chaos of paint? When is art art, and when is it a mess of paint? It’s all completely subjective. In my mind the locals attempt are pretty darned nice and isnt it wonderful that they’ve got a free public canvass. Yet, if the very same art were on, say, the wall of my house….. “art” isn’t what I would be calling it. But, isn’t it the same creative expression and the same talent? Of course it is!
The point of the story; there is a wealth of talent that’s abused and ridiculed simply because it’s the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time. This time of year always makes me uncomfortable and I silently apologise to my students for making them sit exams. I just know that –
- I’ll end up reading lots of off-the-point material that the exam question didn’t ask for. The students are showing off lots of knowledge that I cant give them any credit for
- At least one student having family problems (little son / daughter having accidents the morning of the exam and requiring a trip to A & E). Result – not mentally tuned into the exam
- At least one student stressing out in traffic across the city. Result – not mentally tuned into the exam
- Cramming instead of reflecting. Result – killing off the knowledge that has been built up
- etc etc etc….
…from students who exhibit significantly more skills and capabilities at other times of the year. There’s just something not quite right going on. For too many kids the the exquisite graffiti goes on the house wall where its not appreciated and the the scribble goes on the official boarding. Result – failure and disappointment and a knock on the head for self-confidence.