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MOTHERING SUNDAE: Alternative images of Easter
EASTER is a time of religious solemnity, obscene quantities of chocolate and, I suspect, an exponential increase in the share price of cardboard manufacturers.
The children grumbled through woodland walks, paraded Easter bonnets and deprived the local wildlife of foil-wrapped fripperies hidden in the undergrowth.
Oh! And The Youngest painted a masterpiece for the front of the fridge and thoughtfully redecorated the kitchen table to match. An Artweeks photographer has captured the studio spaces of 30 artists (exhibition opening at Modern Art Oxford tomorrow) and I wonder whether they too have taken this approach to their interior design?
Photography seemed a dirt-free way to channel the boys’ creative talent. However, as they set off trailing the camera over rocky ground, I doubted the wisdom of defining honestly the camera’s shockproof feature: they clearly felt neither the need to be careful nor to avoid nudity.
Digital photography may be miraculous but it does require a filing system more detailed than any Argos warehouse, and I catalogued their afternoon’s work as Italian Renaissance to be on the safe side. The pictures will, however, be great on a large screen when either gets hitched in years to come.
The children are used to a snap-happy camera bulging at my hip and are well-versed in posed tomfoolery.
Like the plague, we avoid parking the same anorak/haircut combination in front of multiple monuments and notable views.
Instead we peep from foliage, bend bodies into replicas of historic sculptures and help the English language pan out into the 21st century: ‘a profiler’ for a great shot; a ‘deleter’ for a less flattering angle; and ‘one for the dumping album’, a Facebook insurance policy against a boyfriend who proves less than worthy.
Facebook, Twitter and the blog have become an art form, the modern-day equivalent of an illustrated journal.
It’s a far faster method of communication than correspondence sent by horse-drawn carriage and Jane Austen would surely have loved it. And the bonus is that if you feel someone has ‘delighted you long enough’ with their news then, unlike children, you can just switch them off.
And as for children? Well, it’s back to school today!
Esther Browning is festival director of Oxfordshire Artweeks in May. See artweeks.org