I worked in this area for two years teaching children. It’s Miles Platting in north Manchester. It was a damaging experience. More could have been done to control bad behaviour and I implemented some of it very successfully. I was opposed however, denied and overruled, and made into a bad guy for my efforts. My efforts rested on three university degrees and a PGCE which colleagues didn’t have. There’s a great deal I can say about that subject and one day I might. Pivotal to the experience was the remark often made by teachers which is children have no respect, which in part rests on a sense of boundaries. There’s not much boundary here either between industrial activity, domestic living, and wild nature. As such, it’s a strange scene depicting different kinds of cultural-geographic space. It does however have a harmony which is partly derived from my composition, and partly because of my thematic emphasis on wild flowers. They exist despite the concrete, petrol and oil, the gangs and petty criminality, as a source of quiet consolation. They grow whether we notice them or not, untended and uncared for. I’m not implying there’s a link here to feral children. There are, rather, different kinds of wildness. That’s Ragwort growing in the grass.

 

Manchester Wild Flowers: Wildness And Boundaries

Tuesday August 5, 2014