Make Believe

Super Hero

Artist’s Statement

Childhood remains one of my main photographic topics because so much of who we become as adults is formed in these early years. Our home environment shapes us and and if we have a disadvantaged environment, escape into make believe becomes a major coping mechanism. I still use older style dolls as stand-ins for children recreating real life situations. I draw once again on my childhood and the games my brothers and I played that gave us a sense of freedom from the grown up rules of the house. I think in many ways, play is children’s work, the way they learn about the world and develop the skills needed to get along
in it.

Trying on different personas allows children to experiment with being someone else without fear of consequences. It helps them to develop empathy, which is an important component in the development of the social skills that lead to a better chance of success in life. Often they pretend to mom and dad, but also like to be someone powerful and admired; a super hero, a doctor, a cowboy, a princess. All involve some sort of prop or costume to help visual define who they are, but their imagination fills in the rest.

This series reflects the joyful aspect of being a child in a world of make believe.

– Kathy Curtis Cahill
January 2016

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