Mr Statter - Art teacher
Originally uploaded by No end insight
As we wend our way thru life we glance against other people. Occasionally we join their orbit for a while and their direction affects ours - sometimes many years later. Mr Statter is such a man. He was my art teacher at secondary school. This photo was taken somewhere between 1979 and 1981 when I was 17 or 18. As a child I was troubled - tho I didn't really know it and certainly didn't understand it. I mucked about a lot. It was all a mask.....tho I did do and say plenty of rather funny things. My home and family life wasn't great - not as bad as some, but not ideal either. So, maybe I sought refuge at school, to get away from home. Art was an oasis of calm, creativity and understanding. That was my home. Mr Statter taught me for 7 years and encouraged me throughout. Although I did well enough to get an A Level grade C, I could have got a grade A if I had tried harder. I could and indeed should have gone to art college - something Mr Statter and I regretted for many many years. For, after 28 years I found and dropped in on Mr Statter or David as I can now call him, only yesterday. I found him via the internet. For some time I had wondered if he had ever wondered about what happened to all those children he taught. For some reason I thought I owed him the debt of knowing that I had, eventually after 28 years, decided to be an artist.
Would he remember or even care about me?
Yes and yes. He remembered me as he opened the door and invited me in immediately. We chatted for 2hrs, caught up on 28 years, looked at each others work and drank tea - well this is England you know! But what really struck me was him saying that I was one of the most gifted students he had ever taught in his 18 years of teaching art. I was flabbergasted. I had never expected to hear that and wasn't prepared for it. I felt awkward and honoured all at the same time. Over the last 24hrs it has sunk in and now I feel more determined than ever to make it as an artist.
He was so happy that I was creating again and urged me not to stop.
My debt was paid but as is sometimes the way, I had got a greater gift than that I had intended to give: the knowledge that someone did care and still does.......