Saturday, December 8, 2012

Do Materials and Technology Drive Art?

In the later part of the 14th century artists 

started to use paper more and more to 

explore their ideas for paintings and 

sculptures, instead of copying finished works

of art.

Sketch of old man    Da Vinci                                from google image
If one thinks about how art changes and why then it is not to hard to realize that as materials and technology change so does art work.  
I loved teaching my young students about the Australian Aborigines drawings and bark paintings.  Their color pallet was primarily dependent on their environment and what was available to them: Red clay, white clay and charcoal from their fires.  One children understood this it was amazing to watch their young minds open in amazement and understanding.  So then we watched films of aborigine people, listened  to their stories, music and watched them do art. Music played, images were up around the room, and only white, red/browns and black were available.  The art work was stunning.  They literally had immersed into the culture.  
Now, watching how technology is rapidly changing artists approach to creating is so interesting.  The access to creative tools on line for everyone is amazing as well.  Just recently I have been taking my photo's and putting them on material thanks to a new site called Spoon flower.  Photo shop, digital photography, iPhones, iPads, computers, led goes on and on.  The reality is, it will evolve more and more rapidly and with it must come our adaption to change and the ability to access what ever comes our way.  That is why we are in the visual age and visual learners excel in this environment.  Education needs to be producing thinkers not fact storers.  Leonardo would have told us that is what learning should be, to train a mind to explore and to think!

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