Monday, 20 October 2014

The Classics

Old is gold. It’s a phrase I heard for a long time by many people but never really appreciated or understood. I spent most of my life trying to defy it till one day I woke up and it looked me point blank in the face, old is gold. This isn’t just because gold is old though I’m sure it is, the meaning goes deeper than this. Allow me to give you, my one reader, my view on “Old is gold”.

My need to write about this started around 5 43pm today, I know because I  looked at my phone checking for the time around that time but that is not the place to start a good story so I will begin with my afternoon class. The class was some Landscaping class and I was not ready for it, sorry mum if you stumble across this but it happened. Anyhoo, we were supposed to show the lecturers our Site Analysis’, it was a group project, but thanks to poor time management we had the pieces but no cake. So the job started, to get cake together, we managed to do so and using my “gift of the gab” we made it across the finish line just fine. Then the lecs, short for lecturers, asked us to begin work on our concepts.

I pulled out my little sketch book and started to draw, this was after my afternoon coke, but realised I had nothing on me mind. So I picked up me phone and googled “outdoor recreational spaces” I came across this picture of a park that was simple but it took me. I did my math, adding my analysis of the site and the picture I saw and my mind saw the idea, I just had to run with it. The image was clear, I could see the place, see the people using the place. I could see it at 4pm with the school kids walking home through it, the young mothers looking out on it from their balconies while their babies fell asleep in their arms, I could see the old guys having a smoke playing backgammon in it. I could see a young couple on a picnic blanket enjoying the moment. I saw it, I smelt it and I felt it. And I sketched.

My sketching was ended with the lecturers inviting us to the official opening of the Faculty of Fine Arts in the main Amfi Theatre on Campus. It was actually under duress because the attendance could only be signed after the event, I wasn’t even mad, I got to kill two birds with one stone. We went in, they had the usual speeches, I won’t bore you with the details and then there was a music session. That was the time I looked at me phone, I thought the launch had begun to end too soon. I soon forgot all about that as two ladies stepped up, one on the Piano and one on the violin. They were Turkish ladies, both lecturers but from a different University. They had their degrees in music which I thought fascinating but I was even more impressed when they played. They took me to a time and place, it was a transcendent experience.

That's where the took me, A time and place

All else faded away, the noise of the room. The guys doodling on small pieces of paper at my side. My body aching from all the sitting I had done. The bag by my leg that would not stay still. All was forgotten as I was immersed, carried by the music. It was music by George Frederick Handel, commonly known as the celebrated Saxon. The levels of mastery involved in the playing of the piece on both their parts. The movement and grace that they showed, the poise, the accents and the rests; it was picturesque. As they played I thought of my little sketches and in that moment I knew what I wanted to design. I wanted to design that. That space, that time, that moment.

Old is gold. Modern art forms of all kinds are great and their evolution mind blowing on so many levels but there is a lot and I mean a lot of beauty that can be seen from the root of it. Old is gold implies the value of that which has seen its time. As a young person I have grown up seeing techniques and styles and have grown accustomed to doing things a certain way because of technology etc. but old stuff makes you appreciate how people achieved so much with so little. Especially in art. How words thought and feeling can be transmitted through an art form that had yet to realise as much of what it was doing as can. We are studying now to appreciate and learn to use what came before because the achievements of those that came before are just great.

It all comes down to that

Old is gold speaks of us learning from a bygone time and period lessons that can be applied today in every aspect and not just the arts but I will give an example of the arts, cos that’s what I do. A lot of design in the minds of my contemporaries starts and ends digital but the ability to represent what you think and feel at a moment’s notice on paper with pencil/pen/marker cannot be matched. That form of “thinking on paper” is really old but its relevance stays true and once you begin to use it and see the depths of it, you see that old is gold.

Old is gold speaks of the value of age, not in that old is better than new. I don’t think it means that in the least. I think old is gold speaks of remembering the old and learning from it, cherishing it. So much can be taken from the old, so many lessons that are relevant today whether in part or as a whole. Whether directly or improved on. But even more Old is gold puts pressure on me, that when the time comes for people to look back on my time, they too may see it and say “You know what man, old is gold.”

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