Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Works of Art

Queencyl Rabang Age 9

This is the picture for April, in a Calendar for 2012. Each month has a picture created by a young New Zealander. Queencyl Rabang is a student at Bairds Mainfreight Primary School in Auckland New Zealand.

There is a spontaneity that is both naive and endearing about children's artworks. Here we have a mermaid floating in a bubble, a very cool sun either seeing the world through rose tinted glasses or shielding its eyes from the sunlight; party hat girl elevated above shark fin grass on gossamer wings; a fairy executing a flashy pirouette on the head of a flower (pah! you can keep your angels dancing on the head of a pin) and a unicorn who is either paradoxically looking as if he is a long, long, long way away, despite the fact that he is in the foreground - or is returning from a meeting of the Miniature Unicorn Society. The sky is high summer blue and the clouds poetically float as lonely as a cloud.

The detail in this picture is interesting. The mermaid is wearing a bikini top to defend her modesty and she has what looks like starfish earrings and maybe a starfish in her hair. The sun has a particularly distinct wry smile of its own amongst a number of smiles with the smile motif repeating in some of the pictures patterning if you look carefully. The unicorn has a headscarf held on by a large maroon coloured bow, which is colour coordinated with the unicorns horn and hooves. For balance and to accent the panache that fashion conscious unicorns are bound to have there is a scarf tied to his tail. The artists palette is restricted to six colours only, with the pinks and maroons crisscrossing in a subtle tension that ties this masterly executed picture together.

When I look at this picture I don't ask myself, what does it mean? I am more taken with the way it makes me feel. I feel happy and it makes me smile.

As a teacher I have viewed 4 decades of children's art. A large proportion of what I have seen deserves more respect and place of prominence than to be just held temporarily on a fridge door with little magnets. The cream of the crop deserves to be framed and displayed with the prominence and reverence that our culture gives to the cream of its adult works of art.

Pablo Picasso said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child ............ Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."

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