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Keeping Time explores the transitional stage between childhood and adulthood, with its associations of vulnerability, awkwardness, emerging sexuality, uncertainty and competition. It focuses on young female ice skaters, exploring the emotional intensity of their physically demanding athletic experience as the blush and hue to adolescent change. Embracing the feeling of limbo, it enacts adolescence as a lingering period of waiting, a drifting, shifting time attendant on ‘becoming’.
The series traces a symbolic representation of adolescence and feminine identity, but equally embraces the hidden identity of the artist, and the subjectivity of the undefined viewer. Adolescent girls have long been a metaphor for the exploration of personal and social identity, and in this series they allow the artist to enact an autobiographical journey, albeit one that is filtered through imagination. Keeping Time explores memories, dreams and desires about what the past may have held, creating an ambiguous space of realistic illusion and illusory reality that references not only the personal memory of the artist but the elusion of memory itself.
The images imply potential narratives that encourage the viewer to become an active participant in constructing meaning. Both physically and psychologically, they negate the individual identities of the sitters, creating a space of projection for both artist and viewer, such that the girls become metaphorical ‘alter-egos’.
Whilst the work scrutinizes the young female body, the sense of an interior existence, of psychological tension and the ravages of time reveal flashes of impending adulthood. In portraying adolescence thus, the series moulds an adult space in which to recall and consider our own identities, experience and potential.