Child Art Treasures
I began an arts programme for orphans and disadvantaged children out of selfish frustration at the state of my own life. I needed to refocus and redirect attention away from myself onto anything else! The only plan I had was to recapture and share the intensity of joy I felt as a child whenever I got to paint and draw. Equipped with scraps of paper from old varsity assignments and dried out poster paints, I stood before 15 cynical kids at a local orphanage and embarked on the most intensely emotional and creatively rewarding experience imaginable.
There is honesty about children’s art that is hard to match or articulate. The legitimate desire for accomplishment and acknowledgement, the need to be spectacularly profound or to impress or to just make a living is often absent, resulting in work with an emotional integrity that is both delightful and captivating. Spontaneity, pleasure, uncensored thought, unbridled freedom of choice and feeling; these are the hall marks of children’s art. If you’ve ever seen the sheer glee and steadfast concentration of a child engrossed in finger painting or clay moulding, you have witnessed the creative process in its purest form. Art becomes a language that communicates emotions and complexities where words would only fail.
I’ve learnt many things about creativity; some have deeply shaped my thinking, and others I’ve outright rejected! I loved discovering creativity was an intellectual process, requiring the use of wisdom, understanding and knowledge, but it is through the creative eye of a child that I’ve rediscovered the crucial components of heart, soul and spirit. I cannot share my gifts, skills or talents without sharing my heart; they are one and the same.
I wonder then how different the local art scene might look if we infused more feeling, emotion and intuition into creativity, with the same child-like zeal and nobility. Might our galleries and theatres, be filled with more works of wonder, discovery, experimentation and exploration? Great art is said to be “uncompromisingly honest, unselfconscious, bold, ambitious, enlightening, original, challenging and a feast for the senses”! Tall order? …Yes! But imagine what an artistic and cultural evolution this ideology could trigger! Just imagine, and then try it.