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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Childrens Art and Ferragosto


It's upon us once again. Its' an ancient Roman Bank Holiday, sort of, which translates as Augusto's day off, or more aptly 'Italy's collective August coma' when nothing can be done, arranged or even dreamt of. So best to forget plumbers, electricians, builders, lawyers, notaries, town hall staff etc. You get the picture. A holiday! Park your brain in the fridge.

My plan is quite the opposite. With art friends, we take to the streets around the coast, to art fairs; done eight already and there are two more to come.

Here's one I enjoyed, it was at Penna San Giovani, a little town, one of the many hilltop towns south of the regional capital Macerata. We were just two of us, myself and my art friend Claudia, otherwise known as Delfina.

It was the best so far. A spectacular show by the group called Compagni dei Folli (fire and ghosts on stilts) after which the two of us held an art workshop for kids. They were amazing. No explanations needed. No parents hanging around them (they were all in the bars) And there was a queue of them (the children that is). We worked with monoprints, and what they especially liked was the moment the paper was lifted off the glass. Oohs and Aahs as the image revealed itself and they carried the paintings gently off to dry.

They were so many and were like bees around a pot of jam and we simply couldnt turn any of them away and carried on until 1a.m.when their parents were exhausted from waitng and they peeled the children away one by one.

Playing with children is a learning experience for adult artists. We mustn't talk down to them and in fact they are our little gurus, floating, as they do, immediately into the absorption of each living second and having no clever preconceived ideas in their heads. They even helped us to clean up and then marched away holding their still wet masterpieces flat and adoringly in their hands.

So you see, this is what came even clearer to us; that when you run art workshops for adults, the task is to guide them into this state of child like innocence, however long it takes. And once there, all the rest flows.

After all, didn't Einstein once try to tell us that  ...................     

       'Play is the only way we ever truly learn' 

p.s. My new website is...

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