The main idea of the exhibition was questioning and challenging the context in
which children’s artwork is viewed.
We wanted to see all children as the “Artist” and
showcase their work.
We wanted to show the value of children’s work and to show
children’s work in a more unexpected way.
We wanted the artwork to impact the space but
to also be discovered in more hidden or less obvious places.
We put the images on chairs,
tables, windows, doors and walls all around the space.
The images on the cushions were
hung on the walls like paintings.
We invited all of the parents to the opening day and the children were encouraged to look at the artwork and comment.
“I started a search. As I wondered the floors and walls of the community, I could see so many different uses of artistic materials. As I started photographing the children’s work, I picked out small areas of detail looking for line, colour, marks.
The work was presented in so many ways, on card, fabric, paper.
Once I started to gather the pieces, I started to get a different perspective on the work, and I could really see the movement and texture the children had created.
I was fascinated with the tiny details, brush strokes, marks and colours all combined creating these beautiful unique art pieces within themselves.
The combination of thoughtless and thoughtful mark making reminded me of abstract painters like Kandinsky, Gerhard Richter and Pollock.
There’s something about paint that for me is expressive and invigorating, in some cases the children had unknowingly done what so many find hard to do and created abstract art.
I wanted to showcase these pieces in a way that combined my techniques with their techniques.
That’s where my interest in textiles come into the project.
My idea was to use something so every day as a cushion and to imprint the children’s work into it. Cushions generally are used to decorate or soften a space.
They could be the clean canvas in which to present these art pieces to the public.
The mundanity of the cushions juxtaposed with the vibrancy of the children’s work was the seamless combination.
I wanted to show value and meaning in the work in an unexpected way, encouraging the viewer to see children as artists within their own right. We as adults impose judgements and ideals onto children without really thinking about what this does to the children’s work.
Who are we to claim those meanings, names or values we throw upon children’s “beautiful little pictures?” I am inviting you to observe and think about the context in which we view children’s work and to see children’s work in a different way.”
“I started photographing the children working. I followed how the children interacted with specific resources such as fabric, natural resources or paper.
During this research I realised that my main interest was based in how the children responded using paper as their medium to express their thoughts.
I was intrigued by the children’s physicality – their movements, their actions, their mark making, their concentration during the action.
I remember recording a video of one of the children while he was drawing and I was fascinated by his movements during the action, it was almost as if he were dancing, he was making very clear decisions about his mark making, his concentration was palpable.
It was at this moment when I realised, I wanted to follow the children´s process from 4 months old till 11 years.
I started collecting drawings from all the rooms and classified them based on their movement, colour, line and expression… All of them were similar sizes, made with crayon, colour pens or markers on a sheet of paper, but all of them were different.
And I started to think about their meaning in the space, how we display children’s work, what is allowed and what is not. Who decides what is art?”
I want to challenge the context of children´s drawings.
Normally they are individually presented on the walls (or fridges) with the child’s name and sometimes the meaning of the drawing.
The meaning is often given by an adult. Here I am presenting children’s art, making it anonymous, offering no context, no comfort to the spectator by naming or explaining the children’s work.
I do this in order to question and reclaim the space all at once as part of children’s creativity like ‘street art’, where the artists express themselves in different contexts and spaces.
I am challenging the existing conditions of children’s art work. I am offering a different way to look at children’s work.
I am inviting you to reflect on your understanding of children´s work.”