various selected poems since 1962

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Leigh Neuage (July 6 1983 - August 16 2003)

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At the day care centre the children enjoyed painting more than any other activity. They were the two to four year old children of employees of a large computer company.

Beverly Johnston was an artist herself and       she had the responsibility of keeping everyone happy. The parents and the children. She had attended school for art and had specialised in traditional art; the classics, paintings done hundreds of years ago. She didn't like modern art. She thought that the children's art was better than the modern art at art galleries and even better than many of the modern paintings at the museum.

Beverly Johnston gave the children all the paint they wanted to use on all the canvas boards that they wanted. The children made a mess. Beverly thought that their paintings were excellent. She framed the pictures and took them to an art gallery.

To Beverly Johnston modern art looked like something a two year had done. She wanted to prove her point. She was going to put her day-care children's paintings into an art gallery. She decided not to tell anyone what she was doing. She wondered what would happen if people believed she had done them, instead of the two and three-year olds.

The first gallery she went to said they were excellent. They wanted to do a show as soon as possible. They even made another artist cancel his show so that this new art work could be shown to the public right away.

On opening night there was a large crowd of important people. There were newspaper reporters and television crews to report the art gallery's show. The next day the world was told about this new and important art.

 

Art galleries from around the world wanted to show Beverly Johnston's work. She had her day-care centre children do more and more pictures. Or what the children saw as paintings. The pictures were really different coloured blobs on canvas, usually smeared together. Some paintings were large - some small. She framed every picture. She did more and more shows.

All the money that was made from the art shows was put into a bank account for the day-care centre's children. After all it was just a bit of fun to her. A way to get even with the kind of art she never liked.

Beverly Johnston kept her secret for a year. She did shows around the country and three overseas. She was on the cover of several major magazines and was announced as the most important new artist of the decade. All the while she was laughing.

Finally she let out the secret. She called a press conference. On national television with international pickup to countries around the world she made the announcement that no one really wanted to hear; that she, Beverly Johnston, did not do the art that was being called, "the best new art of the decade", it was being done by two and three year olds.

Many artists from all over the world were very upset. Especially the ones who did modern art - and tried to imitate 'her' work. The artists who did traditional paintings laughed at the whole situation. They understood what Beverly Johnston was really doing.

The children at the day-care centre all received the money from the art sales and they had the best Christmas ever - using all the money for presents.

Beverly Johnston lived happily ever-after forever.

  To view a list of picture~poems now on line please go to any of these three sites: http://se.unisa.edu.au/art/picturepoetry/all.html http://www.angelfire.com/hi/ANGELPOEMS/all.html http://www.indiko.com/neuage/all.html

Other poems: COLLECTION ONE ~ COLLECTION TWO ~ COLLECTION THREE

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