The Secret Life of Objects

A learning framework aimed to inspire learners with new approaches to the study of objects, and how any object can be used as a starting point for the creation on expressive artistic activities.

The traditional approach in the teaching of how to approach precious objects, such as those found in museums and art galleries, is that there could be a right and a wrong way to understand their meaning, history or use. This approach can condition our perception of art or the artefact as something mystical, that cannot be easily understood. Most artists however feel that their work derives its meaning form the perception of its audience. The philosophy of art believes that the art only starts to exist for for its own sake having been transformed by the understanding of the viewer, drawing upon their own experiences.

It’s not useful to define objects simply as those things found in museums, trapped and separated from our personal experience inside glass cases. Objects are everywhere, we surround ourselves with them, they define who we are, they can be both useful and decorative. They are intimately tied to our emotions through a network of connections in our brains, giving life to our language, documenting every experience we’ve ever had.

Look at a lemon, cut it in half, feel it, smell in, taste it, write down every adjective that could be used to describe this lemon. Now replace the lemon with a picture of a lemon and cross out the words that no longer apply.

Young innocent minds must be allowed to explore the meaning of objects without historical limitations, narrow-minded perceptions, or fear that their own interpretation might be considered incorrect. Children should not be told that one object is somehow more important, or more precious, than the rest. Instead they should be given free-rein to study those objects that they feel drawn to, those that arouse their interest. When given the opportunity to study an object creatively and without limitation, the mind will draw on its own depth of experience to imbue the object with a new life, and a channeling of personal experience to become the starting point of creative process.

See More