Creativity is an often underrated thing; especially in Australia where creative pursuits are generally deemed to be those things you do when you’re not working hard enough. I’ve always considered this attitude to be just a bit ass-about (if you’ll forgive my language).
Creativity has always been that thing which has led to enormous scientific and technological breakthroughs. Creativity has given us and improved quality of life as well as an outlet for our thoughts and ideas.
Einstein, Newton, Marie Curee, Edward Jenner and many others throughout history have sought creative solutions or explanations for everyday problems and observations. The fact that their creativity found an outlet in science or math doesn’t make it less creative than anything produced by Shakespeare, Mozart or van Gogh.
Creativity is a process rather than a product, a method rather than a material outcome. Creative people don’t live in a different world to everyone else, they simply see it differently, they ask different questions of it and create different relationships.
I find it disturbing therefore, that we have somehow created a culture wherein uniformity is so highly prized. We hold up a single, global ideal of beauty. We talk of ‘the Australian dream’ as though there is only one lifestyle to which we all should aspire. We have a new national curriculum within a system that encourages students to stay at school until grade twelve whether school suits them or not. Where is the creativity here? Where the room for genius?
Imagine my joy then, when I discovered that a friend of mine, Josh Donellan, has begun a new project to encourage creativity in schools. Because he’s also a teacher, Josh has managed to link his new arts project to the current curriculum and make it relevant across a number of primary school KLA’s (Key Learning Areas).
The Giant Canvas project has just received an Arts grant to assist the number of artists who work within the project to deliver the project to primary schools. Giant Canvas encourages children to take a creative approach their real life issues and observations. Frankly, it’s a genius idea and I wish I’d thought of it. So if you’re a teacher, or a parent with kids in primary school, please take a look at this website www.giantcanvas.com.au it really has the potential to do great things.