This art piece, I believe, is cutting edge, because of its challenge to modern-day conceptions. Ultimately it is what I would call true art for many reasons, not least for the unconscious motive beneath its creation. Firstly, the image is a result of a unified effort of young people from 5-14 freely expressing what they want without any theme to aid them. Its creation is organic, so to speak, spontaneous. Secondly, the final look of the mural is what I consider to be the artist’s prerogative. But this was no so much as adding to the picture as taking away what I feel lacked definite mental articulation, as opposed to sensual arbitrariness. For instance, where the art formed a “mess” I simply overpainted it with the colour of the rest of the room by block-masking taping certain areas. These two above points bring into contention people’s understanding of art. For example, there is no doubt that many a masterpiece probably has the preliminary sketch-work of a student in assist, or in the case of a very large piece, his or her final hand where the imagery is so vast as to almost invite participation of a student to help complete it, i.e. the Cisteen Chapel. As I say, this method is generally themed as well as being a process of adding to the final look. At the base of this picture is an unconscious process, one rooted in spontaneity. The other quality of this picture is the bringing together of various abilities within a short period of time i.e. about 6 hours. It typifies child art, lots of facial expressions and graffiti-type signatures throughout. I ensured not to block out any one name. In fact, the only limitation as I recall one child saying, was the lack of available colours. This brings me to my next point.
Regarding materials, most paints were finger paints, which included the primary colours. The utensils were mainly brushes though there is indication of using some other circular object. The other limitation to the piece was its size. It is interesting to note that the very small children stuck to the bottom of the mural whilst the top is dominated by the 14-year old.
Overall the picture speaks of transcendent happiness – even now I peer up and laugh at some of the individual depictions. I started this picture and I finished it. I had no idea of what I wanted to paint, and just did anything. What evolved was an outline of what I could only describe as the shape of Britain and northern France, painted in green. This may well pertain to some sort of subconscious theme of nationalistic tendencies. Barely any of this small part of the painting remains. As the picture progressed throughout the day it gained in quality. As far as I know one other adult contributed, for during the day I was arrested and returned three hours later. This must have had a psychological effect on the children, for they considered me as a friend. There must have been emotions of confusion as well as sympathy. As the poem depicts, the healing process was pre-emptied through the use of art. What subconscious motives were going through the child would have been effected by the room one was in, access to my garden and other parts of the house, and my disappearance. On this level of true art one can diagnose the state of mind of the applicant. When I removed the block masking tape, now in-filled with pastel pink, I stood back. I had in fact created another anthropological figure; one I can only describe as ‘moving’. The expression is not from the face though, but from the whole body. The figure appears to be holding out its arms as in welcome or embracing. The head is tilting to almost want to make it smile. The image actually draws one into the mural. But it also provides a continuum to the rest of the room. The whole image is prophetic i.e. it states my actual disposition, one of being a child in like, but coming out of the background of child imagery to dominate the overall effect. I later considered this as a form of order out of chaos. It is a primeval consciousness. One could almost see a cloak of sorts, with large sleeves; a shamanic figure, a magician. In the same way I was welcomed by the children on returning from the station so my final intervention is to bring this point to the forefront. It is pure magic. Since then all charges have been dropped against me for criminal damage and trespassing on railway property.
Back to main page