As you may have seen in the news, the new wing of the Tate Modern opened this week. I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say that, between them, Dylan and Xander have produced enough artwork to fill it. We are being subjected to an art attack!
While I’m obviously happy that they’re exploring their creative sides through the medium of art and spending at least a small amount of time away from screens, it’s starting to get on my nerves.
Not a day goes by without several new masterpieces being proudly presented. They both love to immortalise their favourite characters from LEGO Dimensions, Ninjago and Star Wars in felt tip while Xander regularly brings home pieces of paper festooned in scraps of material from pre school.
Yesterday was a case in point. At pre school, Xander drew so many pictures of Lord of the Rings characters – who he knows via the aforementioned video game, rather than bedtime reading – that they were glued together into a book. A full-on sequel to Tolkien’s epic trilogy in under four hours!
My once-tidy desk has become an unwitting piece of installation art on its own. Similarly, the fridge is so densely populated with drawings that, if I’ve had a particularly bad night of sleep thanks to Amelie, it can take me a moment to find the bloody thing!
The other problem is the waste. Apparently, the reverse side of the A4 printouts we get with our groceries every week are not good enough and hinder my young artists’ visions for what they want to produce.
Only the expensive stuff we buy for the printer – and, curiously, the back of our annual mortgage statement – will do. I have to keep hiding it. Although not in my desk; that’s already groaning under the weight of their handiwork.
Of course, we subtly recycle a few of their works now and then and also manage to offload some on extended family when they call round, but it raises the question of what to keep and what to let go. I’m well aware of the fact that I’m too soft, but what if I discard a priceless work of art?
What is your approach to kiddy art? How do you strike the balance between nurturing creativity and being swamped by drawings of Yoda? What ratio of it should I keep and is it wrong to tell the boys, should they ask, that their ‘missing’ pictures have gone to live on a farm?