Homework seems to be the bane of most parents’ lives. Certainly the ones I know anyway. But one subject which my twelve-year-old really enjoys is art. It doesn’t stop him stropping about the homework but at least once he settles to the task in hand he actually seems to relish the challenge. This week he had to create a self-portrait collage. He was unusually animated about it when he came in through the door.
“I know EXACTLY what I want to do. I want to do one like you did when I was in Miss Woolhead’s class and we were sticking!”
I was flummoxed. Miss Woolhead’s class would make him about aged five at most. What had he remembered? It was especially intriguing as he normally has the memory span of an extremely forgetful goldfish.
“It was a collage portrait. Yours had a blue background made of doors and I got cross and threw the glue on the floor because I couldn’t make mine look like I wanted.”
That didn’t help much to be honest; projects where my son has thrown the glue / paints / pens / glitter across the floor in a fit of pique outnumber those which passed off peacefully by some embarrassingly enormous number!
“You photographed it. I remember,” he said.
Well if I photographed it I must still have it. So off I went to browse my archives and in the mean time he set about creating his own collage self-portrait.
Eventually I found it and suddenly I remembered a rainy Sunday afternoon where H wanted to stick things to make a picture but wasn’t really old enough to be left unsupervised with glue and scissors, so I amused myself by making a collage self-portrait for an art-class I was taking. And I remembered H being captivated by the idea of this and trying to make his own, and throwing an almighty strop when it wasn’t as perfect as he wanted.
However this time he worked away industriously and quietly and eventually proudly presented me with his collage. I was impressed at his effort and also amazed at the similarities between our two pieces of work.
I’ve posted them here for posterity.
Sadly I must have thrown my original away at some point but I’m considering having a print made and mounting them side by side, to remind myself that not all homework ends in tears