Love to declutter, but there’s one thing I can’t throw away

I love everything about this photo of Gordon Flynn. It reminds me that grief is part of life so I don't have to panic about my own difficulties.

I love everything about this photo of Gordon Flynn. It reminds me that grief is part of life so I don’t have to panic about my own difficulties.Credit:Gordon Flynn

Maybe the treescape restores my balance because it’s the opposite of my everyday life (sitting at the computer in an air-conditioned environment). Or maybe it helps me remember a good time – my husband’s day Finally moved (Meredith Music Festival 2000, between trees and tents).

Another artwork I love is a black and white photo of a man standing on top of a car that is half submerged in a flooded underpass. I like the narration and the ridiculousness of the scene – the look on his face! But maybe it also reminds me that grief is part of life – something everyone experiences – so don’t panic about my own difficulties.

As I go through PowerPoint presentations during my classes, I encourage my students to think about how they can relate to each image. It doesn’t matter if we’re looking at Aboriginal rock art, Renaissance classics, or a contemporary Ben Quilty, my question is the same: “What does that mean? do to you?”

This teaching method was somewhat inspired by this excellent ABC series Everyone is a critic (2018) in which Australians regularly visited some of Australia’s finest galleries and discussed a range of artworks. They weren’t experts, and that’s what it was all about.

There is no test at the end of the semester; My students don’t need to remember an artist’s name, or the year something was made, or what medium was used – I just want them to connect with the art and respond to it in some way. It’s personal and you can’t go wrong.

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Do you prescribe them? Art as Therapy The seven function theory suggests the fact that humans have been creating and collecting art for millennia is valuable – not only for gallery curators and art history teachers, but for everyone.

So my inability to throw away my art collection is okay, right? It enriches my life in a way my other possessions don’t. The problem is, when my kids move out, I plan on downsizing into a tiny house (no, not a tent – I want solid walls). And while I won’t have any trouble throwing out excess kitchen utensils, clothing, electronics, or furniture, I don’t know how to sort out my artwork.

I think I just need to turn them into a PowerPoint presentation. And keep an original piece to hang on the back of the toilet door.

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https://www.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/happy-to-declutter-but-there-s-one-thing-i-can-t-throw-out-20230112-p5cc6u.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Love to declutter, but there’s one thing I can’t throw away

Jaclyn Diaz

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