Monday, August 18, 2008

Reflections from Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti

In a place where the classroom was a dirt patch near the ruins of war, at an isolated refugee camp, a child drew a picture of a bicycle. It was full of color and motion but also joy and life. Then he gave it away. Those two acts, creating and giving, offer hope that one can create in a sorry place. At this place the kids put their paper on the ground or knees, some lay on their bellies – who hasn’t done this as a kid?

Drawing is a human experience. I’ve almost never found a child who wouldn’t draw. At Slovene Village Kristin found a child who couldn’t hold a crayon. Was he deprived or physically or mentally challenged? Who knows, but his environment was utterly bleak and neglected.

I try to draw these kids who are drawing whatever they want, holding it tight to my little sketchbook as curious and grasping hands try to clutch it to see what I did while they sang or played ball or just hung out. Invariably they are excited to see themselves or their siblings or pals on paper no matter how spare my gestural efforts are.

There is just a little time, I must work fast, they won’t hold still and it is better that way. I like the line, their aquiline features surrounded by sharp peaks and valleys. From the many portraits here to the copper plate I will go looking for the sounds I saw that so many other people made.

Thanks for the chance.