Monday, 9 December 2013

Generation gap? More like a cultural chasm.

Being old has its advantages. You tend to know more - stuff - than 18 year olds.

There are 14 of us in the college textile group - three of us are 50 plus; the rest are 18 to 20 years old. There have been quite a few occasions recently when the difference in age has revealed itself in amusing anecdotal examples.

Choosing yarns recently, Zanab said: "Gold!" Immediately the song started playing in my head, and I mentioned it to Katie, 18. She had never heard of it. Of course Jackie and Denise knew what I was on about, and we sang the chorus to the bemused youngsters.

We had a 'guess the word' session where we all had to create a powerpoint show with a 'secret' word we were given by Andrea, our lecturer. Jackie showed slides of sweets from the 1970s, 1960s clothing and toys like Scalextrix. I guessed correctly - nostalgia; half the class had never even heard the word.

(Nostalgia, it struck me, is really only reminiscent to anyone over, say, 40. We are bombarded with trips down memory lane; vintage shops abound with kitsch; biopics on TV of Kennedy and the return of Dallas; Dr Who being 50 years old; repeats of Top of the Pops from the 1970s - without Savile, Gary Glitter, Jonathan King and others; we have to be politically correct these days).

Other words which baffled some included 'eclectic', and the aforementioned 'kitsch'. There was one word which was actually new to me - ecochic. What is the world coming to...

I've been working on a separate powerpoint presentation with Chloe, also 18. In pairs, we are to stand in front of our peers and talk with slides about a designer. Chloe and I are doing Celia Birtwell and Ossie Clark. Going through it together, I relayed that Celia had been on Desert Island Discs last year. Chloe looked puzzled. I guess I'll be explaining what Desert Island Discs is when we give our presentation!

Lichtenstein - work in progress
Our brief for the second part of this year's term has been to create textile samples inspired by a particular artist. We all had to pick a name out of a bag - I got Roy Lichtenstein (and was not happy!) When all the names had been drawn, I commented (well, actually I ranted) to the lecturer that they were all men. "What about Bridget Riley?" I moaned. "Louise Bourgeois? Paula Rego? Frida Khalo?"
Sana piped up: "I've got a woman! Joan Miro!"

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