On Friday 4th February, we were privileged to welcome Aidan Meller to the Rumble Museum and Cheney School to deliver a fascinating talk to our Sixth Formers about his journey into the world of art, and how this led, unexpectedly, to the creation of Ai-Da, the world's first ultra realistic robot.
Aidan had brought two original pieces of Ai-Da's art, both self-portraits, which he displayed to the Sixth Formers. He started by talking about how he developed a passion for art as a young person, and wanted to become part of the art world. He worked very hard educating himself on art, and over the years gained a lot of knowledge. In the very early days, he spent time as an art and history teacher in Witney, before deciding that he wanted to set up his own gallery. He ran the art gallery for over 20 years. In the process of doing so, he realised that 1% of all artists, made up most of the art world. He spent a long time trying to work out why that might be, and what might connect all those artists. Eventually, he decided that it wasn't to do with their background, education or anything like that, but that it was that each of the most famous and enduring artists of their time reflected back to society something that was causing anxiety and uncertainty at the time to people. For example, Tracey Emin's Unmade Bed reflected the looming awareness that the internet and ability to see inside our lives was at hand, which it turned out to be.