Kids Co and Real Art

It is very possible that Kids Co. have become too famous and in this country fame and money are a highfalutin abstraction. I feel very sad to see the amazing work they do broken down into lists of incomings and outgoings but judging by the centrifugal forces of finances I should not be surprised. The critical article in the Spectator starts its case by saying that Camilla never wrote to a woman who donated 200,000 pounds after selling her house. I can only say that I received, from Camilla, the most touching letter I’ve had from anyone when I asked a few friends to donate money for my 40th birthday instead of buying a present. It was the closest I ever came to receiving a medal whilst having a compassionate hug. This was also the case when we organised an art raffle a couple of years ago. The tone of the second letter was perhaps less personal but hey I thought it’s an art raffle and by now Kids Co was a celebrity cause. The criticisms of Kids co are all on the secretarial level. I say this because it saddens me to see their massive impact turned into spreadsheets and data processing. We live in a time of equivalence thanks to Tony’s picking up of the Tory Torch. So now all those heartless I’m all right Jackers can say “see they need to get their house in order before I feel guilty about benefiting from a realm of fear and competition.” Or rather they’ll feel nothing. 
I first came across Kids Co when they organised an exhibition of art by traumatised children in some porta-cabins behind the Tate Modern. It was quite simply the most powerful exhibition I have ever been to. I thought this, surely is what art is meant to do. I remember someone else had left the comment that this show should have been inside the Tate itself and why the hell was it not. That idea has stayed with me and I still feel passionate about the power of Art to create plurality through singularity. The children in the exhibition had a genuine chance to go through the process of intense selving that an artist experiences and connect directly with people. Today our art resonates with money, death and celebrity but the work in the Kids co exhibition blasted through all of that and gave us Art which operates on a profound personal level that sent towering waves of emotion and ideas through the visitors who actually had to experience the work. I mean yes, that was it the work was not some abstract eyebrow raising reference to political/social issues it was real life. Joyous, devastating and optimistic at the same time.
That is what Kids Co means to me and I hope we hear much more of Camilla Batmanghelidjh’s ideas and compassion. She is the closest thing we have to an evolved humanbeing right now.

Camila by Pye and Beswick - Rebel Magazine


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