18 July 2011
Speech By Andreas Chrysochos: Children’s Art
They say that the happiest time in one’s life is the early years of childhood and adolescence. The most wonderful things seem to happen as a child grows and develops. Of course the child is not consciously aware of their own bodily and mental growth, but intelligent adults can observe and try to explain this miracle.
The study of children’s development does not have a very long history, and the study of children’s art is even more recent. It started when as psychologists pointed out the misconception that children are not just awkward adults; that they react to people and their environment, and challenge in their own intelligent, personal and emotional way.
Art produced by children can be taken as an objective evidence of how they deal with problems, how they cope under emotional stress, and how they face positive or negative conditions.
Of course when children are requested to create something they take it – quite rightly – as a kind of game. In this game they set their own rules, and they begin to realise that without rules they can lose themselves in chaos. So, they create and obey their own rules, and in this way they learn self-discipline.
Art is also a way of realising dreams. Through art, children can create their very own worlds. They can realise their inner talents.
Recently, especially after war situations, psychologists have discovered that through art, children can get rid of emotional stress by giving objective shape to their fears.
Observe how children deal with the representation of things and ideas: how a circle can be turned into the sun, into a face, into a flower, into a cloud, into an area of safety (or a prison). See how intelligently children seem to discover a system of signs and symbols that can be understood by other people, and also, as they grow older, how they continue to adapt and adopt many socially established signs.
And as they grow older, young people may stop using art as a means of expression because language, as it is spoken, is an easier means of communication. But art work done in those early years is not something lost. It is hidden but it is there as a kind of solid foundation of intelligence, emotional stability and creativity in many fields.
With these thoughts in mind please walk in the exhibition area and enjoy that which the children and young people of this school have so enjoyed creating.