What a joy it has been to serve these wonderful people of all ages, all walks of life in the “No Comment” Closlieu. For the majority of them it was their first time trying Painting-Play, but they took to it like ducks to water. Since it’s a brand new and quite alien concept in Singapore, I’ve been hosting “discovery” sessions. I know Arno might not approve of a Closlieu taking bookings for less than an entire year(!), but I hope he would understand that in the context of Singapore this really is a necessity. Lots of these one-time sessions are leading to longer-term bookings of 5-7 weeks… Baby steps headed in the right direction!
Against all Covid-19-related odds, “No Comment” Painting-Play studio opened on 14th July 2020 – the first and only Closlieu in Singapore!
I’m allowed to welcome 5 people at a time and I leave an hour between each group to deep clean and disinfect (and archive the paintings). It’s been such a blast already, more than 70 painting-players and almost 400 paintings later! Phew!
Here are a few glimpses of the journey so far…
I seem to be drawn to poems at the moment… My daughter has a favourite book of poetry that she’s had for years, which made the final cut when we whittled down books to bring with us from France to Singapore last August. The other day, she and I were taking a break from her diligent e-learning to chat and lounge in her bedroom, when she jumped up, and exclaimed, “Mummy you really have to read this poem. It’s amazing and perfect for you!” She grabbed the book, flipped through the pages expertly and showed it to me. She was spot on and I can’t believe that it’s been in this book all along, waiting to be shared with you all! I love how the wonderful, anarchic John Hegley tackles, in a light-hearted but also poignant way how adults sometimes tear down children by stating the obvious (obviously the most important thing to an adult), “you’ve gone over the lines, that’s what you’ve done”. They sometimes ask sarcastic, superior, rhetorical questions “What do you think they’re there for, ay? Some kind of statement is it? Going to be a rebel are we?” in the guise of educating or even entertaining other adults. Finally they sometimes lie, (which is usually obvious to a child), “they’re all very good”, damning with blanket, thoughtless praise. That’s why I so passionately believe in creating at least one small, nearby space in the world (a closlieu) for everyone (from small children to grown-up children) to be able to paint without any judgement at all. What freedom to grow and such a way to liberate all of our creative spirits! Enjoy the poem!