BOY AT PLAY WITH BOATS - a reference to our cousins....and ourselves.
When I first saw this canvas I was struck by the power the boy with stick wielded. There was an uncertainty of time and place. Was it 1920's Ireland or 1960's N.Z.? There was a high possibility I could have seen this child just yesterday.
This found object is an early circa 2000 collaborative work by two Elam Arts graduates whose names are easily identified on the reverse side of the canvas. The fact that the artists had been open to shared input was an important consideration when I approached the concept of adding another layer to the work.
By altering the original, this work investigates change, and confronts how moral attitudes often champion resistance to said change.
How does it make one feel to know that the status quo has been changed, possibly violated even?
Should the additions be removed, leaving scars and imperfections that are not seen unless you look very closely to the fabric of the canvas. The status quo seemingly restored.
Does acceptance of the altered state make the previous less important or relevant?
This work invites the viewer to consider how a change of circumstances may impact on our lives demonstrated through the figure with the stick in hand. Boy At Play With Boats suggests a reaction to an imposed and imagined threat, a previously unoccupied space is now occupied, thus forcing the viewer to interpret the figure in its new setting.