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Yesterday we had a trip to one of “Poland’s” finest establishment on Southbank in London.

Whats it called?…oh yes.. Tate Modern.    This was my first visit since the conversion.  (one of the few venues in our fair city, that I haven’t had a photographic assignment).

I loved the exhibition and the day was a great experience of this excellent venue and its ability to inspire ones creative thoughts.

Well actually, my own previous, personal experience of Southbank was way back in the 70’s.  I was at the time a photographer/manager adjoined to an Advertising studio which was situated, just around the corner to that large belching chimney.  Being on the third floor, facing an inner courtyard and without air-con, the windows were sometimes left ajar.

My arty work colleagues were always very cautious because any thing left out, especially over the weekend, could end up being covered with black smut.  All artworks had to be considered as gold dust and suitably hidden away.

On my return to this locality, it was a strange feeling, to be sauntering around the smartened inner sanctum of that monster building.  Credit to all those involved in its brilliant transformation.

The exhibition we visited was the art of Gabriel Orozco.  I was so impressed that it made me think.  As a non-academic myself, I always felt unable to express myself with watercolours or oils on canvas, clay etc., so it was probably understandable that I chose to brandish a camera, of which I have been at ease with for many years now.  Along with the other permanent displays of art on different floors of the Tate, I truly believe that these shows must be stimulating other would-be artists, the world over.

Reflecting on this, while chatting to my son Oliver, in the Café there ( oh! by the way don’t get tempted…the coffee wasn’t made with coffee), it occurred to me, that all these artists had one common denominator.  As far as stated, none of them had actually been to a College, University, and in fact had no training linked to the development of their own thoughts.

As a University student currently at Farnham UCI, it is Oliver’s worry…nay, concern, that he should stay focused, to the projects set by the “academics of the world”.  These have time limits that he dramatically has to adhere to and of course at times falls short of those desired deadlines.  His brief is sometimes to describe a piece of art in detail…to another artist like him that becomes a problem.  Another subject concerned him.  If it is demanded of him, to swat up on these artists and then perhaps copy them in some way…. isn’t it destroying the originality of his own thoughts.

After watching and listening to experts describe the importance and affect on the viewer, of pieces of art that are put before them, then it leaves me with a somewhat baffling question………..

Just how important is education?

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