KETTLE_NOBLE_ARTWORK.jpg
Title: Without Education
Artists: Penelope Noble and Alice Kettle
Measurements: 60cm x 60cm
Medium used: Mixed media including cardboard, paper crèche, chalk, rice.

Approximately 30% of children between 6 and 14 years of age in India are not able to attend school and receive an education. The main factor contributing to this problem is poverty with many children in underprivileged families required to work in order to support their family financially. This injustice is prevalent in Tamil Nadu, a state of India, where recent reports have found 125 000 child labourers work in various sectors consequently preventing children from attending school.
Young girls are more at risk of having to work and therefore miss out on an opportunity to attend school as social traditions see males as a higher priority in receiving education. Whilst poverty is a main factor, the lack of adequate schooling and teachers in rural areas also contributes to poor access to education.
This artwork depicts a young Indian girl carrying rice on her head whilst a school blackboard is held in her other hand. The textiles and colour of the cardboard and paper crèche as well as the blackboard are used to emphasise primary education as these materials are commonly used within classrooms. Rice represents the work this young girl takes part in as child labourer as this is a common area in Tamil Nadu. The juxtaposition of the rice being placed on top of the girl’s head and the blackboard being held at the bottom illustrates the uneven balance between prioritising labour to provide for the family compared to the right for a child to access basic education. The face of the young girl is blank demonstrating the lack of choice young children have in being able to attend school as it is often the result of inadequate school resources and the need for the family to be financially supported.


Sivarajah, P (2012, May 1). Over 50, 000 kids from south Tamil Nadu deployed as child labour. The Times of India. Retrieved from, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/madurai/Over-50000-kids-from-south-Tamil-Nadu-deployed-as-child-labour/articleshow/12944715.cms

Smile Foundation India. (n.d.). Quality Education. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.smilefoundationindia.org/quality_education.htm

Smile Foundation India. (n.d.). Children In India. Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://www.smilefoundationindia.org/Education_for_Poor_Children.htm