Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Marr: Drawing Gave Me Back My Life, So Why Don't We Still Teach It?

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Marr: Drawing Gave Me Back My Life, So Why Don't We Still Teach It?

Article excerpt

Byline: Ross Lydall Health Editor

ANDREW Marr has accused schools and colleges of "betraying" students by failing to teach them how to draw. The TV presenter and journalist made an impassioned plea for basic art skills as he told how drawing helped him regain "who I am" after a major stroke.

He said: "David Hockney goes on about this the whole time, he says they are betraying young people: 'Young people are coming in, wanting to create beautiful objects, they don't give them the skills.' "He is absolutely right. If we don't teach people the basics, if they can't draw, if they can't sculpt, they can't go on to be conceptual artists or video artists or whatever. It's a betrayal of students not to teach them the basic skills of their trade."

Asked whether he would support a campaign for drawing akin to the Standard's literacy campaign, he said: "I think it would be wonderful. I'm very worried about the tendency to cut things off the agenda of the school curriculum.

The idea that art and design are not economically important is completely insane."

Noting the success of inventor Sir James Dyson and Boris bus designer Thomas Heatherwick, he added: "We are throwing it away. The Chinese are opening drawing academies all the time and we're closing them. It's a disaster."

Mr Marr was giving a speech at Charing Cross hospital to mark World Stroke Day. …

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