Twin chalk towers

Posted on July 10, 2010


It’s the school holidays and there’s Kids on Campus.  It’s great to see them tearing all over campus having a ball. The oldest of these kids is perhaps 12, which makes them perhaps 2-3 in 2001. So, this lunchtime chalk drawing caught my eye.

In the foreground of the image we have a raised garden bed, part of the Living Campus. On the right we have Robot Love, a quite common image, interesting take here with the biological brain providing the intelligence (see Art:Computing).

On the left  (and larger below) is a chalk rendition of a hi-jacked plane crashing into the World Trade Centre. These kids can only possibly have been three years old in 2001, so they didn’t get this first hand (ie they don’t remember seeing it on 9/11 – or 12/9 even in NZ).  I don’t think that there is any threat to the US from the kids on our campus, NZ is, after all the most peaceful place on earth.  I don’t think that they are expressing any personal trauma (see these kid’s trauma images via FEMA).

What interests me is how this image has become ossified in our culture.   Clearly boys love war stories.  This is a strong graphic without expressing personal and community horror.  It has been played and played in the media in their lifetimes.  They might have done a school project on it.

There’s a couple of other aspects to this image, the “H” above the tower, and the flowers on the left.   It’s not possible to tell whether these are the same young artist, but the flowers especially are an interesting counterpoint to the plane.

Anyway, I’m clearly not a sociologist, an art theoretician,  nor a child psychologist.  I just thought this interesting and would like to hear others’ views.

Twin Towers in chalk