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03.13.11

Polixeni Papapetrou Photos: Dreaming of Childhood

Children double as whimsical creatures in Polixeni Papapetrou’s photography. View her surreal series, recently on view at a retrospective at the Australian Centre for Photography.

It was in discovering a work of Diane Arbus that Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetrou felt her first great emotion in photography. Inspired by her own childhood in Melbourne where she was born and lives now, Papapetrou draws us into a poetic world, surreal and dreamlike. A world where the influence of literature, with the inclusion of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, reinforces her contentions in the matter of childhood. Childhood, adolescence, and the passage between the world of childhood to maturity is at the heart of her photographs. It reminds us that children and adults do not live in the same imaginary worlds.

Gallery: "Between Worlds" by Polixeni Papapetrou

In her 2009 series "Between Worlds," Polixeni Papapetrou photographed children acting as animals in the landscape. The children wear animal masks, allowing them to inhabit an intermediary position that separates them from adults and human from animal. In performances dramatized by costumes and masks, and in breathtaking landscapes, the children as animals dance upon their own liminal world between fantasy and theatre, mythology and reality, archetype and free play, male and female, child and adult, and last animal and human.

Evelyne Politanoff is an Art and Fashion enthusiast. Born in Saigon, raised and educated in Paris, she married a Visual Artist and moved to the United States. Evelyne has lived in New York City, Miami, and now calls Los Angeles her home. She has raised two children and now devotes her time researching new talents, and is founder and editor of the eclectic blog Trouvaillesdujour. Her posts are regularly published on AnOther, NotCot and Lost at E Minor.