Sunday, 8 May 2011

Significant Form

During my studies in Aesthetics, I couldn't avoid getting acquainted with the thoughts of Clive Bell. His theory that unique aesthetic emotion exists, apart from those emotions evoked by an object, was one of those things that stuck with me. And I have, on many occasions, experienced an emotional response to certain "forms and relations of forms" which Bell called "significant form".

But philosophical perspectives aside, my emotional responses are more often triggered by a tune or a photograph that gives me pleasure through a personal association. One sure-fire bet is artwork produced by children, and the free representation of the world they see.


Speckly Woo recently created this charming self-portrait. An image of herself, by herself, sitting next to an unidentified tree, in bloom.


The twins are also flexing their little artistic muscles. When children first make their literal marks on the world, in form and colour, we are witnessing something truly special.

11 comments:

  1. Martin, They are beautiful. I would hang them on my walls with pleasure. And I do get a visceral hit from them.

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  2. how can one NOT respond to these works of art- especially Specly Woo's....boy I love that little girl- you are so lucky!

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  3. How wonderful for them to have a loving grandpa who encourages them to develop a sense of fun and creativity to the full.

    I am sure I have said something similar before but you really are a peach of a grandpa.

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  4. Agree with Friko. No one was posting my early art work on their blog when I was a kid. (Mind you, when I was a kid, people were still using quill and parchment, never mind using computers.)

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  5. Your little Speckly certainly has artistic talents! :)

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  6. I, too, am a fan of children's art. S Woo is getting much more complex in her images -- very nice!

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  7. Dear Martin,
    This post touched my heart, I always gave my own three children lots of art materials with which to explore and create. Now I have the pleasure of doing the same with their children. My two year old grandson is a wonder with chalk, creating masterpieces over and over again on the back patio. A true pleasure to watch, then look back on later.

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  8. Agreed. A little like Jackson Pollock, a little like Miro, but basically 100% kid.

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  9. This really made me smile. Having 4 kiddos I know how special their arts are! Blessings to you :)

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  10. Long ago my mother made the (perhaps grave) mistake of passing her stash of my own drawings from my childhood on to me for the future (my mother is still around). Most of them were instantly thrown out... Going through what you might describe as a creative phase, perhaps it would have been interesting to have held on to them? You can't keep everything children create (unless you have limitless space), but I do see your point. Absolutely! Both about the kiddie's stuff and the Clive Bell thing. Thank you for pointing it out to me!

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