Monday, 8 April 2019

C. is for Child. ( thoughts on using the image of a child in some of my artworks)

OK I had thought to do CHINA as it is a culture that has always interested me.......and another consideration was  COLLAGRAPH for the "C" category.  But then this morning I thought (not for the first time by any means) of how often the image of an infant and or child occurs in my artwork and I thought that I would actually find that more interesting to write about.

"Sibling". wood intaglio, Lino intaglio collagraph + inkjet
 chine colle 60 x 60 cm (24 x 24 inches).     Aine Scannell
As it so happens this is not such a bad artwork to start with.  I say this because the central figurative image is actually taken from my drawing of a Chinese infant (from a photo).

I remember being really pleased with this print because of the way I was able to integrate the background circular-like collagraph image(turquoise blue) with the pink coloured, pigment inkjet chine colle.

I made this piece in 2013 by the way.  Those small green coloured oval -like shapes which are either side of the central figure are scans of little collagraph proofs of twin embryos.

The idea with this piece is concerning the" one child policy" in China.  "Sibling" refers to the brother or sister that the 'single' child never had.
Although it fundamentally refers to the harshness of the implementation of the one child policy in Chinese society - I had in mind forced abortions and also the practice of 'relinquishing' female infants.   In some cases those who are extremely impoverished have resorted to 'selling' their infants (illicitly of course) to foreigners for enough money to enable a family to set themselves up with a small family business.

In using the twin image (green) for its symbolic value I was alluding to the idea of the imagined, the inner and the absent 'self'.

The blue bowl at the base of the image is a reference to the concept of 'baptism' - metaphorically this refers to the practice of the newborn being submerged into the 'beliefs' of the parents be that religion, culture, politics Nation and so on.  A very complex process......although I have often thought that children becoming adults at eg 18 or 21 ought to be permitted to make their own choice as to which 'religion'(if any) that they would prefer to belong to.  But of course these things are just so complex and given the massive size and population of China..............

So on reflection I suppose one could say that in this case the infant/child was actually the subject of the artwork, although the accompanying twin image/symbol was used in an allegorical sense.

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