Recently I was asked to write about why creativity matters. It seems rather an obvious argument, yet still, current government changes in the education system are far from progressive in the sense of appreciating diversity and valuing the wide range of skills and talents within any community. The need for additional scientists, mathematicians and the government quota for the number of students taking physics, seems to be more important than raising children to genuinely believe that they can do whatever they are inspired to do, be whatever they want to be, and lean towards the subjects they feel drawn to; including Drama, Dance, Expressive Arts, Fine Art etc. The new Ebacc forces a focus on core subjects which are non-negotiable. The full article is in Teach Secondary issue 4.7.
In addition to this I have been recently asked to publish more Art Lesson Plans in the same publication. It is nice to be asked, and to be considered appropriate to submit ideas that others may choose to follow, or may be inspired by. I am delighted to be described in the last article as being ‘artist who teaches at…’ rather than being described as ‘Art Teacher’. Not that I want to suggest any additional authority as an Artist who teaches, but it gives a sense of being a practitioner first and foremost, and that is something I have been working hard to establish.
I have been making small works to send in the post, some to my students, friends, colleagues, family members and other institutions. This first batch are going to go to my students and a second batch to former colleagues. In discussion with Les we decided that the act of giving work away is very powerful and takes a legitimate stance when it comes to discussions on ‘value’. Next week I will be meeting with the staff at the local Hospice at which I will be volunteering for the foreseeable future. This should open more doors and, I hope, present me with more people to give work to. I need to make new business cards (I am going to be moving house soon so it seems ridiculous to give out the current cards) and flyers to send with these, and a card which asks the recipient to photograph the work in situ and email this to me so that I can keep a record of the works in their final destination – as chosen by the recipient. This (the record of the works in situ) feels more powerful than the work itself. It is about what people have chosen, what it is alongside, whether natural light falls on it, how it has been arranged, whether it stands out or is ‘lost’ in this environment etc. It is a chance to see how the work is experienced.