161/2011 students learning to understand the world, originally uploaded by rosipaw.
How interesting to visit our daughter’s foreign university campus. A curious mix of ancient and modern, but now largely deserted for the summer. No students studying on the lawns, which drew my attention to this bronze sculpture.
It’s called ‘Youth with Split Apple’, and is by a Scottish sculptor Kenny Hunter. The accompanying plaque read:
“Kenny Hunter’s art offers a contemporary take on traditional figurative sculpture. Unlike the commanding figures of many triumphal monuments, here a student reclines among us, sharing our space. He is holding an apple, a traditional symbol of intellectual awakening, which is split in two to suggest the dualistic nature of knowledge, good and bad. In this work, Kenny Hunter questions the assumption that knowledge is acquired through action, instead suggesting that openness and contemplation play their part and that the aim of life is not to change the world but to understand it.”
These words and ideas really spoke to me, as a teacher on my summer holiday. We all need contemplative time, to understand the world around us a bit better. Perhaps then we might even be ready for some action to make tiny changes.