Cowboys, Clowns, and Princesses
In the late 1980’s I began to work with images of children, with fables and myths concerning children, with memories of childhood and with reconstructions of children’s play.
Clown, Cowboy, Princess is set in a staged environment and is of children playing at make believe. However, the images are not, specifically of the children: rather the works are concrete representations of imagination, of memories, of myths, fables, childhood fears and of the darkness that lurks under the bed. The works were conceived and made in extended sequences: this process reflects narrative elements, fragments of a story/poem.
Clown, Cowboy, Princess are images of reconstructed childhood; of play and imagination. The sequence is fragmentary, visual meditations on real/unreal memories. In making Clown, Cowboy, Princess I asked the children to play dress-up, to create characters from their make believe boxes and I posed them on a stark, painted stage. The sense of “posed” photographs was deliberately undermined: I used long exposure times, which would result in blurred images; and I asked the children to move as the photographs were taken, which, with the extended exposure times, resulted in photographs altered by time, photographs that reflected a moment’s breath, a moment’s chaos.