Reflecting on my art classes during my school days is problematic. Its a hot topic to write about bullying in school because it is a major problem and it was for me at the time.
In my ‘O’ Level art class at school I had my paintings up upon the wall, probably in the corridor not far from the reception. I dont think they had been there long but someone had spat on them and all the paint had smudged. I felt devastated, but not at one point did any teacher take note, discuss with me how I felt or even take them down. They were left there for all to see, along with my humiliation that they had been spat on. Another negative experience I had was again in art class a teacher had lent me his own personal copy of an art book, with paintings for me to use as an example. Nobody else had a book so I was obviously creating good feedback to the teacher that I was taking art seriously. He had made it quite clear I should be careful and not get paint on the book, of course. Well towards the end of the lesson whilst I was cleaning my brushes, girls sharing my table daubed paint over his precious art book. whilst I was still at the sink, he came over to the table and saw the paint, shouted at me, even threw a chair at me and told me to leave the class. Well I’m sorry it doesn’t take an arch bishop to work out what happened there, and in my view he could have dealt with the situation much more carefully and considerately. I can only hope that things in school have changed for the better. I can remember that day so vividly and obviously writing about it shows its importance to me, however this is a story I often do tell with some humour now, along with another time when again in my art class, this time another teacher. He was pacing up and down between our chairs giving us a talk about art, whilst I was listening I was drawing, I didn’t think what I was drawing, but as I did he walked towards me and asked to see what I was drawing, he screamed something at me, and told me to leave the room, without actually realising it I had drawn him. He obviously recognised himself, it must have been quite good if I got a likeness, as I always find that difficult. I was particularly upset at the time but now I can see the funny side.