1965 Booklet for the Australian Society for Education through Art

Dirk Bolt, a Canberra architect and I collaborated in the design and writing of a schools booklet for the Australian Society for Education through Art. Perhaps my first venture into writing and illustration – a copy is in my other folders.

I had also joined the Society which was based in Melbourne, but it didn’t seem to take off in Canberra – our critical mass didn’t seem to be big enough in those days, population being only ~ 40,000 ? (now, as I write in 2015 I believe it is around 400,000 !

It could well be that Sarah’s organisation in Melbourne has its roots in this group.

There was also a conference in 1963 ? held at ANU where I first met Noeline Naar and Lola de Mar, both art teachers in Canberra schools. I gave a paper on the role of design in the art and industrial arts curricula. Assoc. Professor (late) Gavin Seagrim (our neighbour in Jansz Crescent) also gave a paper on Perception and Hirschfeld Mack also gave a paper on the Bauhaus approach.

It was the beginning of a design approach to art in Australia but all our efforts have been a struggle because of the walls around the teaching profession – tradition and professional resistance (apathy, ignorance ?) is deeply embedded in the system. It might slowly be breaking down through the efforts of a very few like Noeline and Lola – we had an awakening in 2014 with a few essays by me, but it requires a great effort to achieve anything and we all are getting old and tired. I am now 91, Noeline and Lola have lost their husbands and this retrospectivity is arousing great sadness in me for the lost potential of what could have been possible. Scattered sparks do not seem to create fire.