Sunday 18 January 2009

So long, and thanks for all the inspiration...

I was very saddened to hear Tony Hart passed away today. I suppose you probably wouldn't know of him unless you're British, but he was a children's TV presenter of art and craft programmes all through my childhood in the late 70s and 80s (and the claymation character Morph who appeared alongside him was of course the direct ancestor of Wallace and Grommit via Aardman Animations). I loved "Take Hart" and his "Art and Craft" book was something I would page through regularly, just drinking it all in even if I never got round to making anything that time. I may even still have it somewhere - I used to dream dozens of permutations of the treasure chest on the cover. Between him and Blue Peter it's no wonder I get much of my joy from crafting out of old and leftover materials (it's really not a new "green" fad!), and that beyond worrying about wasting expensive kit I don't have any sense of restriction over what mediums I work in. Yesterday I bought decent brushes and watercolour paper - so much for not learning a new craft this year!

He was a gentleman in every sense - of my grandfathers' generation and very like both of them, actually. So different to the TV my daughter will grow up with; given that Oliver Postgate died recently too I've almost given up hope of her ever having the gentle, encouraging figures I had as a kid. I'm fond of Art Attack admittedly, despite the more frenetic format (as you can see in the website!) but Tony really took his time; quietly, softly, constantly saying "you can do this".

I wish he'd been my art teacher.

Goodnight, Tony, and thank you so much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh how did I not hear about this before now. My friend once submitted some artwork to his wall and I loved Morph. He was awesome and will be missed.