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Saturday, 19 December 2020

Let's be a little more Francis Bacon...

I was thinking of Francis Bacon the other day. I really am interested in the process of creativity. In schools, we teach stages... We teach instructions - in order - for creating a piece of writing, a piece of art or music. 
Most adults I know who do these things do not think linearly. They think messily. They are messy. Creativity is really messy. And artists studios usually are messy. The pages writers write on are usually messy. Creation IS messy, and that's more than ok. We don't teach that though, so how many messy creatives are boxed into the perfect world of in/ out trays and numbered structure? How many ideas a squashed because creatives are told from the outset... THIS is how this is done... No other way , and are marked on those stages (eg teaching writing... We mark the broken down stages someone came up with. Kids are expected to come up with characters or a setting from a story, and describe them , without creating the story... And are tick box marked on that. The Ford version of writing. Writing Time and Motion stylee. Writing by numbers). 

Chris Stein, of Blondie, posts really interesting pics, screen grabs, snaps, on his "story" thingmy on facebook. His pics reflect creativity in him and sometimes in others he has met, witnessed or just stumbled upon on Facebook. He posted a pic of the aging London Soho artist Francis Bacon in his studio, which was weird because I'd been thinking of posting a pic of him and other artists in their messy studios, during the week last week. I wrote on Stein's message board...

"Creativity really needs room. It can be messy. This is what school should be [more] like.

[nb... Schools, are used for more than creativity, of course, so children need to learn how to properly tidy and clean after their creative processes].

I'm a Primary teacher here in the UK. I "allow" mess during creativity and fun. Eg on Friday, we tipped up the paper recycling bin and had a "snowball fight." 
{me amidst the mayhem... I replenished their stocks of "snowballs" as they flung them across the class at each other from behind overturned desks...} 

[We tidied after (recycling is important). By 3pm, the floor was incredibly clean after a competition of "who can pick up 30 things from the floor..." with 25 children in the classroom, the pieces went down to the very, very minute.] 

The kids had a ball. It gave them much needed release during these quite tense covid days. Who needs hours of the extra pressure of "needed" tidy desks, and perfect robotic, lined up behaviour, these days? We all need mess, wildness, explosions of colour, noise and release. 

Let's be a little more Francis Bacon.

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