Friday, September 01, 2006

Scott MacLeod Drawings 1960-1962: Part 1: War

Flag Soldiers, 1962

Having exhausted most of the readily-bloggable artworks-by-others in my collection, I'm embarking on a change of direction for the Temporary Museum. This month's exhibition is the first of several which will drawings I made in 1960, 1961 & 1962.

In late summer of 1961, I had just turned five and was attending kindergarten of Regina Pacis Elementary School, a British Catholic school in Djakarta, Indonesia. The multi-racial nuns wore white habits and spoke with English accents.The classrooms were for the most part open to the large dusty central yard where recess was held. It was my second month in Indonesia and my first day in school. I was wearing a diaper because of some stomach infection or temporary food allergy.

The class was asked to draw a picture. Anything we wanted. I bent tight over my desk and drew a multi-tiered battleship, bristling with cannon, firing wildly at huge v-wing planes that dove and strafed and bombed in return. I'd just seen The Sinking of the Bismark on board ship on the way to Indonesia. The entire was page was filled with war machines, explosions and the broken lines of tracer bullets, all in green crayon. Similar in style to "Red Invades Black" and "Black Parachute Battle" below, but more manic.

Finally the teacher called time and asked if anyone would hold up their picture for as all to see. A girl with blond curls, three rows forward and three rows to my left held her drawing proudly above her head. I stared at it with slowly mounted dread, though dread to me usually feels more like a falling. A crisp, sparse rectangle house, with a neat triangle roof, done in purple crayon, perfectly squared and centered on the page. One rectangle for a chimney, a single line wiggling out as smoke. A simple door in the exact center, a simple window on either side, exactly symmetrical. A small tidy bush under each window. That was it.

A rushing sound was filling my head, from the inside, so I could barely hear the teacher and the other students ooh and aah over this girl's picture of a neat well-kept house. I bent my head and stared in horror at my own violent cataclysmic catastrophic crayonic excess, at the flying shards of metal and the stench of death that I - I! - had made. I knew at that instant that I was in some sort of deep trouble for which there was likely no solution and from which there was certainly no escape.

I'd originally planned to exhibit these drawings chrononologically, but after some thought I decided it would likely bve more interesting to group them thematically. So in honor of that first memorable drawing, and in sad resonance with the world's continuing cycles of violence, this first exhibition will be of drawings of war & violence as transcribed from Hollywood films, comic books and otherwise imagined by a 4, 5 & 6 year old.

Red Invades Black, 1962

Plane & Helicopter Battle, 1960

Black parachute battle, 1961



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