I have a passion project. Thanks to Facebook, and my inability to hold onto a USB stick for more than thirty second without losing it, I have started to gather an album of picture book images. The curation method for these is simple, eccentric. I have to like it. I have to be able to talk about it.
(How curious it is that books are one thing when read privately, selfishly, but quite another when we talk about them.)
I did a talk the other day to some local sixth formers about life as a researcher, doing this. Books. Literacy. Trying to understand one of the most global, primal experiences. Reading. Communication. Everything builds from books, I said, everything.
I described research:
Asking why. Asking, always, asking why things are the way they are and what can we do to affect, address, challenge, question that.
And I showed them Art.
Capital A, capital ART.
Picture books are something which we treat, sometimes, too lightly.
We’re driven by our sense of adulthood. Age based imperialism. A sense that we know better, that we shouldn’t be reading these things.
So sometimes, I asked them to just look at things.
Because looking – seeing – is where it all begins.
All of it.
One thought on “Picture books, art, and the appreciation of things”
I agree absolutely with all that you’ve said here, and love your choice of pictures — personal, to be sure, but generously shared.
I’m not an academic researcher but, yes, any research should above all be asking ‘why’, and not just the obvious ‘who, what, when and where’ that I see regarded so often as sufficient.
Why, and probably her sister How, these instincts seem to combine the philosopher and the scientist in us and distinguish us as beings doing more than just existing.