An Education From Jai Lennard

February 20, 2013
'My ongoing interest in connecting adult activity, the story of coming of age, with childhood experiences has lead me to the classroom - the space which we hold responsible for teaching and informing our children on what they need to know in order to succeed in life. This includes sexual education, a topic from which my work never deviates. In this new series titled "An Education", I find myself playing puppeteer with the materials imprinted within the environments that help shape and mold us in our latter years.

These classrooms, overflowing with energy, emotion, feeling, and action exist because of the children who fill them. Though, these emotions seem to exist even after the children have left the room. Through an uncanny resemblance of the chairs to their juvenile occupants, I am granted the opportunity to create, illustrate and tell the stories of children whom reside in these rooms. Inside, there is hesitation, fear, love, worship, angst and wants, specific to the education experience, that an adult will eventually lose touch from. Not only through the passing of time and growing older, but the change of the environment, supplies, and education system within.

North America, young at heart, is rich in spirit and pride for our younger generations. Simultaneously it has such a topical and charged history concerning the relationships of our students in school, especially concerning sex. These relationships parallel home life and also the relationship with their superiors in the classroom. The images I create don't intend to provide answers or complete details to what our children experience, but invoke the experiences themselves; being young and simply trying to "figure it out." These experiences, raising questions as they not only ignite ideas of what our children entertain in the education system but also how we as adults feel and connect with our past experiences, making connections of who we are today. Much like a Rorschach blot, I intend to inquire about your own personal view and allow you to decide what you see. The works are portraits of our children in action, faceless as they may be, in places we know so well.' Jai Lennard