Sunday, 18 January 2009
When I was a child there was this curious art programme on TV called Vision On. Curious because it was ostensibly aimed at deaf children, the co-presenter being a woman who signed and interpreted, and back in the early sixties this was totally groundbreaking. I have no idea how many deaf children actually watched it but I, and a lot of my hearing friends, certainly did.
The other presenter, a man called Tony Hart, was the reason we watched. He was the artist and it was he who inspired us to go out and look, really look, at out surroundings, then come back and make art for ourselves. He would work quickly with all sorts of different media and materials, without any flash or fuss, and transform paper, objects, everday things into wonderful little (and sometimes not so little) bits of art, all the while encouraging us to have a go ourselves.
He went on to do several other series after Vision On and I have fond memories of watching these with my own daughter, now a very talented artist herself. All in all he brought the joy of creating to British children for nearly fifty years on TV and provided the template for modern shows like Art Attack. I am sad that he's gone, but so glad that he was there as I started on my creative path.