Art Wolfe in Australia / by Glenn Dixon

"Find art in the unintentional." -- Art Wolfe  | Photography -- Glenn Dixon

It’s an understatement to say that I have just had my mind blown. I had to wait until this morning to pick up the pieces as my mind was running miles ahead of any comprehensible reflective thought after hanging out with Art Wolfe for two days in Melbourne. Denis Glennon, the photographer who organised Art Wolfe and Gavriel Jecan to speak in Australia had it spot on when he stated during the introduction, “Don’t be surprised if you are viewing in quiet, respectful awe.”

"Young children left to their own devices are excellent artists. They have a really wonderful sense of composition and spirit about their art."

-- Art Wolfe

His lecture on friday was centred around his own upbringing and creative development, exploring the places and works in which he finds inspiration and fuels his creative fire. Through a beautifully crafted photo-story we travelled from his hometown in Seattle to the summit of Everest and back down through a previously unseen Asia. During the workshop on Saturday we delved into the aesthetics and emotive elements of the visual language. It was a profound and moving few days and I can’t recommend the workshop enough if you have the time to catch him in any other locations around Australia. Do it!

Very keen on his perspective I asked Art what he would instruct/encourage a group of primary school students to do if he had to run a small creative workshop with them. He replied, “I would encourage them in the same way I do the adults, trying to bring out in them the freedom to experiment. Young children left to their own devices are excellent artists. They have a really wonderful sense of composition and spirit about their art. And if you are a bad teacher, and I don’t think you are but bad teachers force them to start drawing within the line,  forcing them into lose their creative abilities. A kid should not be told too much, let them go out and run film or digital through their camera. See what they come up with, see how they react to it. I’m really hesitant of putting handcuffs on them and trying to tell them the right or wrong way. I wanna see if there is a spark of creativity in them first.”