For Oliver

by Chantal

Oliver with the face paint design he gave himself

My son has just turned 7. There are a lot of wonderful things about Oliver but I cant help but particularly enjoying his amazing creativity and the freedom he has with it. He has a real “think outside the box”, “colour outside the lines” way of doing everything, and a fantastic risk taking confidence with anything he makes. His ideas are often huge. I usually presume they will be impossible to carry out (and sometimes they are) but he often surprises me. Often when building what he calls his “makes” I’ll ask him what its going to be and he doesn’t yet know. He is comfortable to let it be an evolving process and see where the making leads. There aren’t mistakes just investigations. I find that pretty inspiring.

He is a collector and hoarder of materials like myself (pockets always full after walking anywhere with things that interest him). His collections and “makes” were starting to take up more room in our house than my own so at Christmas time I gave him a great gift – his own studio. The shed at the bottom of the garden had been used as storage for stock from a business I sold a couple of years ago but was now just hoarding rubbish. I got Oliver to help me clear it out and then told him it was going to be his space. His delight and pride were as great as those I felt when the garage was converted into my personal studio.

Oliver clearing out and filling up his studio

Oliver clearing out and filling up his studio

Love that he added a little al fresco dining area on the roof of his studio where he and Bella went to eat their breakfast each morning.

Oliver is as excited as me when new materials arrive for my work. We both marvelled over the roe skulls that arrived from germany, he pointing out some beautiful markings I hadn’t even spotted, and I had to promise him his own squirty session when he saw how much fun expandable foam was. I love that I get to share this aspect of myself with him and its wonderful when I hear him proudly telling teachers and friends about the sculptures I make. I am every bit as proud of him and look forward to seeing the incredible things I know his creativity and eye for beauty will lead to.

One of my favourite presents ever from Oliver - a tiny birds skull he found and identified as an incredible treasure