by Dan Forcey

Staying with our KIDS AT PLAY theme:

In August of 1979, I was five years old and living in a suburb of Morrisdale, Pennsylvania. Morrisdale was, itself, a bustling metropolis of nearly 750 people at the time. Our little suburb of Oak Grove doesn’t really exist on any map that I can find today, but it consisted of five or six houses gathered around an old schoolhouse that had been converted into a garage. Our yellow-bricked house stood on a few acres of land where we raised goats and sold their milk. Near the goat barn, there was a mound of dirt that we had, in a fit of creativity, dubbed The Dirt Hill. What my family lacked in imagination for naming, I more than made up for with what I could transform that hill into. It could be Mount Olympus, or Omaha Beach, or, more relevant to this post, The Death Star.

But why should you care about where I was in August of 1979? Well, that was the year that Star Wars was re-released. While it probably wasn’t my first time in a movie theater, it was the first time that I can remember, 36 years later. I had heard about the movie from my brother and his older friends who had seen it two years before, and I certainly owned a pile of toys from it. But that humid Saturday afternoon in an old converted opera house with one enormous screen was the first time I beheld for myself the glory that was George Lucas’ Star Wars. And apparently hidden camera technology at the time was far more advanced than I thought, because artist Craig Davison must have had me wired up without my knowledge. I am currently contemplating litigation, Craig.

CRAIG DAVISON

Born in Sheffield in 1965, Craig Davison drew even from a very early age, excelling at art in school. He ended up being employed as a cartoonist, drawing comics for pre-schoolers. Davison later was employed for a computer games company as an animator. While working there, he amassed a large portfolio of work on games including The Hulk and Zorro, as well as the concept and characters for the game Johnny Bazookatone. Davison later branched into 3D modeling and sculpting, crafting everything from dragons to action figures of Harry Potter and Doctor Who. Years later, Davison entered a contest run by fine artist Alexander Millar. He finished in the top three and decided to pursue painting as a full-time career. His gallery shows have been a hit around the world ever since.

From The Riverside Gallery’s page on him:

The works of Davidson are set within a child’s mind, the children in the images take on the forms of famous fictional characters and stereotypes. The character’s shadow standing atop the image to depict the child’s mind as the child takes on the character’s posture and attitude below. The paintings capture a distinctive style of painting, helping to reveal an aspect of the imagination that can only be seen through art.

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

DAVISON’S STAR WARS

Davison first came to my attention when a childhood friend sent this piece of his work to me (left). This friend reminded me of the months that I carried around a flashlight and would, from time to time, whip it out and flick it on. Each time hoping beyond hope that THIS would be the time my lightsaber would work. That maybe the lighting was right, or I was finally old enough, or maybe the Force was finally strong enough in me. Somehow, Craig Davison had peered into my five-year-old brain and captured it on canvas. I immediately went searching for more and what I found was (to quote the younger me) freaking rad. Take a look below and see if, no matter what your age or if you’ve ever even seen Star Wars, you aren’t taken back to your own little Dirt Hill in your own backyard.

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

StarWarsNostalgia_05172015_12

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

 

 

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

Craig Davison Star Wars kids

And, yes, toilet paper rolls made excellent blasters. You had to get the wrapping paper rolls around Christmas and use THEM for rifles, though. Take care, Froggies.

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