I have two young sons , so a huge motivation for me wanting to create this exhibition is for them , I want to raise them to be the best future men they can be , to be restful of women , men, animals and the planet. But I also want them to be happy in them selves and to follow their dreams without fear of social ridicule and judgement which can often happen if we dare to swim even just a tiny bit against the stream .
Mr Brendon , as he is known to my sons who are taught be him in their early childcare facility, is a man who I have watched showing such compassion , patience and wisdom when working with young people in a way that I sometimes wonder if even I can portray.
When I interviewed him for this project he told me a little bit about his family and up bringing and amongst all the wonderful images of adventure and love that he conveyed to me of his childhood I also heard the story of a man who dares to swim against the tide.
It is not as common as would be hoped that men take on the career of becoming an early childhood educator , perhaps this because it is seen socially as 'not manly' or perhaps it is for other reasons (of which I don't purport to know), but regardless of the reason, men are very much needed and valued in our education system and to see the positive and nurturing influence Mr Brendon has on such young minds and hearts is inspiring. If we want men to be able to understand and connect with their emotions, their partners and themselves in order to be able to over come emotional adversity without reaching for drugs and alcohol or violence, then the education needs to come from example as well as education. Having a male teacher who talks to children about their emotional awareness and compassion is an invaluable lesson for these boys and girls who I am sure for many years to come will be able to build apon the pathway laid by Mr Brendon.