AN INCURSION IN CHILDREN'S FANTASY WORLD
Undertaken to punctuate and serve as a creative impetus to the content of my book Aux sources du merveilleux, une exploration de l’univers des contes, an essay published in 2011 about the role wonderment plays in folk and fairy tales, my series Beyond the Looking Glass probes the fluid boundaries between the imaginary and the real in childhood.
The dreamlike images from this series blur the boundaries between reality and fiction as they portray the ways in which children use their imagination daily to venture, much like Alice in Wonderland, down the rabbit hole — a pursuit which allows them to release inner tensions and overcome the difficulties encountered by their developing selves. Indeed, a child's fantasy life is kindled by a combination of contradictory fears and desires which, through play, help him to better deal with the very real pressures of growing up and having to shape his identity in a constantly changing body. Pretending to don the skin of a furry animal, to disappear magically, to fight off monsters or become omnipotent allows children to safely explore and balance out the different facets of their blossoming psyches. Tinged with poetry and expressive candour, my whimsical trompe-l'œils are invitations to dive into the teeming, colourful reverie of a child actively negotiating his place in the world.