Monday, 17 February 2014

Stone art... and a child's right to public spaces..

The children chose to go to the snail park again today ... and today they collaborated to find stones and collect them on one of the seven benches in the small garden. They worked hard and well looking for stones and lining them up in a slightly circular form...

We left it there as a piece of art...

Normally I am one for tidying up after us in a public space - but at the moment NO-ONE is using the benches because they are simply too cold to sit on,  and there are six other benches in close proximity if someone DID happen to want to sit on a bench (and the other ones were much sunnier).

I was a little saddened when I left work in the dark and saw an old man attacking the stones with his walking stick to knock them off... they were so obviously were left there by children, and were still in a beauitful pattern... but the man was in a BAD mood... enough to make me NOT want to approach him... although I wish I had done...

I know we would have returned and tidied up those stones - and probably done it in a way that allowed the stones to create a new work of art. BUT now the stones are all over the place... and the sound of the mans grunts of disapproval are etched in my brain... it makes me want to decorate the place more... especially after the children had not only collected stones but collected rubbish from the park/garden and thrown it away. This man had chosen to see children as a nuisance and not as the helpful and creative people that they are.

the stone collection/art

the snail park today (ACTUAL sunshine... its been a LONG time since we saw the sun!!!) I have marked where the benches are. Note the bench and birdbath in the middle.

this is the snail park in summer... it was different every week with new flowers dying and blooming and the vegetation growing so high... here the bench is hidden but you can just see the birdbath...
Where was this man's empathy? His understanding of childhood? Or is childhood so long ago that he cannot remember... or was his childhood so controlled that he never got to make art with stones - or was allowed to be "seen" in public?

One of the purposes of the "Together on the Square" project is to make the children more visible in public spaces - that children do not HAVE to be institutionalised in preschools - keeping to the premises and their yards with the occasional release on excursions.

We have no yard... so the public spaces ARE our spaces too... but it seems we cannot leave any traces... YET...

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