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Even more of an anachronism

One image that has seared itself into my memory – I think it was taken in the 1970s- is of a dressed down (scarved) Queen Elizabeth secretly shopping at a London market.  It surprised me at the time that she could have done it. Yet, even though I may be wrong  – and the photograph … Continue reading

The Tension in Trees

I love looking at Australian trees, particularly ghost gums . They are a magnificent tree.  I love their bark, how it exposes a deep white trunk. I love the ripple marks in the tree – as if the branches have muscles; as if there is stored tension in the branches. Albert Namatjira “The Ancient Ghost … Continue reading

Even more objects can speak

I have mentioned before that poets have given voice to household objects in the Creative Teaching Space # 16. A recent discovery has been the book Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda. In this text Neruda writes odes to many objects: a guitar, a cat, a dog, socks (very funny), a spoon, a plate, … Continue reading

That look in a face.

It is true, and it is well documented, that people are far more camera savvy nowadays than they were a hundred years ago. We pose, very conscious of the camera, aware of the power of photography -particularly how photographs can be proliferated in this digital age. Every once in a while though a photographer comes … Continue reading

Challenging the Frame

Why do we have frames? What connotations do they carry? Are they windows into a vision? Windows into a supposed snapshot of the world? How are frames being challenged nowadays? Consider the work of Valerie Hegarty. Her work challenges our expectations of art. Replicating famous pieces she explores the boundary between the art and the … Continue reading

Do amps really go up to 11?

There are so many interesting resources that we can take into the classroom. Yesterday I saw two films- both fascinating documentaries. The first ” Tyson” is a very honest biography of the boxer Mike Tyson. What he was unable to deal with in relation to his past, his emotions, etc, is made up for in … Continue reading


Anyone familiar with my work will understand that most of my ideas are designed as triggers for creative teaching. I don’t list what to do in the classroom or the training room. Rather, I take an interesting idea – one that I find has depth – and encourage teachers to explore it. I trust that … Continue reading

Markers in Time

Each era carries with it its own markers. Look at a photograph from a hundred years ago and you will see horses in the street, or perhaps people wearing hats. This is a theme that has been picked up by Billy Collins in his poem: The Death of the Hat. The Death of the Hat … Continue reading

Contemplating the sides of cows

Just a fun little post. Ever considered the sides of cows? I find the patterns very interesting. They have unique markings – no two alike. I like the following poem by Billy Collins – an excerpt referring to the sides of cows. Afternoon with Irish Cows  (Full poem here)  ( Excerpt) ” Then later, I … Continue reading

Poetics in the room

Anyone familiar with my work will realise that while I run Workshops exploring Creative Teaching Strategies – a great start for looking at new classroom teaching methods – the deeper value in working in this way happens in those spaces that are hard to define – the poetics of teaching – when one works intuitively, … Continue reading