In Premonitions I am exploring the theme of childhood in contemporary society.
Premonitions, is an exhibition comprising digital photography and sculpture. The images are created and displayed using a dialogical narrative, which sets out to question what it means to be a child in the age of globalisation, wars on terrorism and the disintegration of the real.
Anne Higonnet in her book. Pictures of Innocence: The History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood says: “Images of children guard the cherished ideal of childhood innocence, yet they contain within them the potential to undo that ideal.” I believe the archaic protective role a parent plays is essentially underpinned not only by love but also by fear. Therefore, the images in Premonitions echo Higonnet’s concern in that they remind us of the fragility and brevity of life and yet are contaminated with the power of an aesthetic that is both exquisite and uncompromising.
In Premonitions I am focusing on childhood outside the boundaries of love, play and laughter. In fact injury, illness, and predators seem to me like symbols of mortality in a ritual of evasion, repression, and abjection. The images I create paradoxically blur and identify these themes.
I attempt to position the art at the heart of the digital era by transforming the photographic image into a three dimensional mosaic of colour, texture and theme. I use lush and rich surfaces reminiscent of Renaissance paintings in order to give the images a historical context and to position the works in an evolutionary continuum. As such, the primordial parental fear is rendered visible through the inherent intensity of the images.
©2001 Mireille Astore