Aeterna is a photographic landscape project that draws its inspiration from Edmund Burke’s theory of the “Sublime” and the Jungian archetype of Puer Aeternus.

The title, Aeterna, is a direct reference to the Jungian complex: the "eternal child” or Peter Pan complex as it’s known in pop psychology. Both a negative and a positive, the archetype of the eternal child is one of unbounded instinct and whimsy. Such an archetype is multivalent, offering the potential for growth, adventure and hope for the future at the same time as it threatens to veer into chaos, disorder and danger.

According to Burke’s theory, essential to the experience of nature as sublime is terror - nature is vast and powerful, inspiring both terror and awe. This intermingling of pleasure and terror, wonderment and foreboding that creates the sublime is also present in the experience of childhood - especially when viewed from the vantage point of adulthood. Children are wonderfully naive, unaware of the dangers that surround them. They partake in nature without truly understanding its danger and power. They are too naive to be in awe or afraid.

The figures in Aeterna are dwarfed by the landscape that surrounds them. Thus not only is the children's vulnerability highlighted, but so is the sense of freedom and independence experienced within these vast natural spaces. It is the anticipation of terror that makes these imagined scenes sublime. There is a heightened anxiety as the viewer attempts to imagine what would happen next. If the camera shutter captured only one tiny moment in this story, what occurred after the shutter closed? What will happen next?

 

 
 

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