Paint anything you like! That was the instruction given to the class after handing them each a cardboard, a colour palette and a paintbrush. About 40 minutes later and the entire room was chaotic – newspapers that were meant to protect the tables from the messy paint were all higgledy-piggledy on the floor, books were smeared with an assortment of colours, paintbrushes frantically thudded on the cardboard in a slapdash attempt to originate fresh, juvenile ideas, children had their faces and hands smeared with paint squirted it all over their clothes, and overall the room was given an overcoat of tender tones of yellow, red and green.
But the beauty of it all was that despite all the doodling, the mess and anarchy, pleasant yet subtle colours materialized; creative ideas of different strengths and different depictions were embodied in the simple and unadorned drawings. Beautiful portrayals of serene sandy beaches and palm trees, of houses and cars, or people and soothing waterfalls were on display. And one cannot but admire such work of art by the most creative individuals whose minds haven’t yet been tainted. And like Herrick such disorders “Do more bewitch me, than when art is too precise in every part”
Only one thing worried me though. Whilst other children were busy creating beautiful things, the Somali children created mayhem. One kid used black paper and glue and drew a pitch-black forest – That’s it! Nothing else. The symbolism of which i did not understand. What really worried me though was the kid who drew a CSI crime scene, with a deceased person’s body on the floor marked by a chalk outline. A splatter of red paint on the man marked his blood and it also spread to the walls behind him and the area beside which he lay. I wondered Why? but never really got to ask him.