Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Children Looking Back - Sue Sommers

"Baby Sister 1959"

March 2 - 26, 2011
Opening Reception:
Friday March 4, 2011 6-9 pm 
ARC GALLERY / Chicago 


This series of watercolor/gouache portraits was inspired by images from my family photo 
album. All of the children pictured would now be 50 to 70 years old. They are my family, myself, 
friends, and classmates, and I am looking back at them across time.

Children are very conscious of the adult gaze. In the photos, I see children looking back at adult 
authority. How they respond to the adult “in charge” will shape their entire lives, and says a lot 
about who they are or yearn to be. It will stay with them into adulthood. 

The process of painting portraits from the photographs forces me to look closely and intimately 
at the expressions and body language of these children. Re-interpreting the image through 
watercolor, a child’s art material, helps me bring out what I know is under the surface.