Saturday, 18 June 2011

Little or large

My sons spent the first five years of their lives dressing up in the clothes of their super heroes. Cloaks in particular were a larger than life, instant item of clothing to don and the order of the day, pretty well every day. They mostly shunned the mini worlds that children are encouraged to explore in favour of a more close up, living it experience.

Looking back I can see an element of this in me. Oh I liked creating miniature moss gardens in trays [such innocent days in suburban England of the 1960s and 70s] but I wasn't much for model villages and miniaturised anything. Bonsai leaves me cold. Those tiny pictures created with a magnifying glass giving every detail of a scene do too. I walk past all of them and focus on the giants. Are there two types of people - those who enjoy reducing things down and those who like enlarging them? How much is influenced from school? In art we were exhorted to "fill the page", tiny pictures were a sign of being unconfident, a weakness almost. Obsessive even. Big was seen as better.  It might be why the sculptures of Mitoraj resonate with me. Here I am at the British Museum with my favourite Mitoraj head.
It is lucky too that I am not in relationship where this is a clash. The powerful oil painting by Leicester artist Paul Wright below is a painting we both agreed on and it takes up most of a wall in one of our rooms and it still manages to enthrall us changing as it does in every light and from different perspectives. It looks smooth and detailed from a distance and close up made of of thousands of colourful brush strokes. Of course there is room for everyone and we all have a unique perspective of the world - that is what makes it so interesting.


  1. Your words have captured my imagination and made me long for parisian days surrounded by artists, wine and song. Your excellent choice in pieces has enthused me to seek out more and make it a part of my everyday.

  2. Thanks very much - what a nice comment!

  3. What a fascinating concept. I'd never thought about this obsession with miniature but I think I suffer from it just a little. I love that picture on your wall, by the way, but I'd be scared of putting something that large into my room. I have a number of miniature water colours that I love and, yes, I was one of those kids who spent hours playing in my miniature worlds with tiny dolls etc.