Art as inspiration

I took my nephew to the Escher exhibition at the NGV yesterday. He was ill when I caught up with the others before Christmas and I promised to do something to make it up to him.

I wanted to see the Escher exhibition, but I wasn’t sure he would want to. When I gave him the choice though, he jumped at it.

It was an excellent show. I’ve long been fascinated by Escher’s curious and challenging art, but it’s only when you get up close to it that you really appreciate it. The detail is wonderful, and the imagination to conceive of – and then hold in the mind – such unexpected and intricate designs are mind-blowing. You can’t help but wonder where this came from? I’d have liked to have met him.

When you consider that much of his artwork was made from woodcuts the craftsmanship involved, and the patience needed, is off the charts.

The exhibition presentation was a work in itself, cleverly refracting off Escher’s work, by a Japanese mob called Endo.

My nephew was similarly fascinated, spending minutes sometimes peering at one piece or another. For a creative and sensitive kid like him, it must have been mind-expanding – he admitted it was inspiring.

I was chuffed at his response. I wanted to introduce him to art as I think it’s a great gift as you mature. In his case, the timing was apt as he was trying to figure out what course he would be doing this year – photography or visual communication. On the back of the exhibition, he sent me a message later thanking me and saying he had decided to do visual communication. I think Escher showed him how provocative imagery is a means of powerful communication, and it excited him.

I don’t know where this leads, but I would be proud to think I set him on the road to a rewarding career. My options are limited, but I would like to do what I can to cultivate and nurture this interest. Perhaps when I’m more comfortable, which surely must happen.

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