RECURRENT links up with my preoccupation with issues of age and rites of passage. They are double portraits of children aged 11 or 12, at the brink of transitioning from childhood into adolescence. The portraits are framed together, the first one –light and smooth – representing their current tender, innocent condition as a child. The second one – dark and manually crumpled – looks away from it, facing an abyss opening up in front of them and which all involved begin to forebode.
It was my daughter arriving at that stage of her life which provoked this line of work. It helped me make sense of a recurrent nightmare I used to have at the same age, which involved a light, smooth and pleasant still image which would suddenly darken and crumple. It made me realise that it had to do with the anxiety of leaving childhood and, almost overnight, entering into a more frightening and complicated time in life.
It is a relatively small body of work comprising only 8 portraits, since this is a delicate subject, and 8 is the number of children of the right age that I was close enough to. They were all taken in 2013. The portraits are deliberately produced in small sizes – almost like family snapshots – to convey their private, intimate nature.
To rebalance the painful violence involved in manually crumpling the darker portrait, I show a last act of tenderness by presenting them cocooned in wooden, boxy frames, to keep them safe, protect them from the world…