Friday, May 6, 2011

Saints and Sinners - should art be G-rated?

Yesterday we went to the Logan Art Gallery and were confronted with the 'Saints and Sinner' issue. We went as a school group, most of the kids were very young, under 10....many being in the 5-7ish age group. We started off looking at how to make monkeys or doggies out of sock puppets. Then we went to look at how artists design good looking cars with some models on display and a DVD showing them actually working on these models. I had taken the kids ot the toilet when we arrived and glanced at the next display and just presumed that they would skip it for the kids - how wrong was I...for the next thing the art teacher did was to take the kids into this.

"Dale Haberfield: Sinners and Saints - A tale pipe of
chrome and lace
Inspired by pin-up girls from the 50s and 60s Dale Haberfield
has combined 25 years experience as a professional
photographer and his life-long passion for Hot Rods to
produce Sinners and Saints. Presented and printed on a
range of materials these stunning works explore the notion of
photography, art and sculpture."

Quote taken from 

I have no idea how she handled the topic as we did not join in for obvious reasons. I do not expect an art gallery to be totally 'clean' these days, but I do expect for children to have areas that are child friendly in content and visuals! How will we inspire our future generation of artists if we cannot give them areas in art galleries with gorgeous works minus adult themes? 

Here is my part of a discussion that followed amongst parents:
Re the saints and sinners exhibition - my personal opinion is…
Firstly that children should have every opportunity to have childhoods free of 'adult issues’ and gloriously innocent and pressure free! Most of the kids today looked to me to be under 10! The theme for this age group was ridiculous – how many kids at this age would study these issues in school? How come only an art gallery can get away with it, and should they get away with it?

And secondly, as I have had an upbringing in South Africa during the apartheid era it was strongly ingrained; as our family culture was that every person has rights that should not be abused ever - even if it was acceptable to others.  For me using women/images of their bodies to promote cars or for art in this particular way is crude and offensive, and so I have a personal aversion to any adverts, art etc that 'use'/'abuse' woman’s bodies in such a way. Woman libbers of  my day in South Africa would have fought tooth and nail against such things (e.g. women having a right not to have their bodies being used to promote things).

And thirdly....any Muslim, Jew or Christian at the least would be morally offended by the content and the obvious insinuations that one glance presented.

If people want art like that - fine, but leave it in a separate gallery, where parents can chose not to take their children. And don’t make it part of your children’s program.

For general viewing I believe that art should be G-rated both visually and in theme and content. Today’s exhibition was definitely not!

There has been recent discussion in the political arena as to whether general exhibition art should be G rated! I VOTE, YES!

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