au revoir enfance

Ok, I need to do justice to that picture ‘au revoir enfance’ and tell the whole story, instead of just throwing a line at the end of another post (edited now) like I did a couple of days ago.

au revoir enfance
au revoir enfance © Blandine Hallé 2014

The story goes that I am dealing with difficult issues about my childhood upbringing, issues that are unfolding through the psychoanalysis I am following. A week ago I was doing my usual early morning walk in the neighbourhood when I went pass a small chair alone on a verge. It had been left behind after the Council truck had gone around for the junk verge collection a few days before. That little chair ‘spoke’ to me, it reminded me of the one I had when I was a child, together with its little wooden desk. I would play there for hours in my room, building up stories and worlds on my own.  I walked pass and after 20 metres I came back to pick it up, thinking ‘I want to do something with that’. Then a few days later, I was feeling a lot of pain after some important realisation during my analysis session the night before. While being fully with my emotions, I spent hours working with that chair. Fuelled by my grief and anger I placed the chair in different positions and experimented with different backgrounds, took numerous photographs and edited them, until I finally felt I had achieved what I wanted to express.

This little chair is empty, the child is gone. The view point is the one of an adult – me – looking down at the chair, symbolic object of a long gone childhood.  I am saying ‘au revoir enfance’ – goodbye childhood – as I want to leave behind the pain from the past. I don’t want to carry that burden on my shoulders anymore; it weights a ton on me, puts me down and holds me back. It makes me suffer both physically and emotionally – it’s killing me. ‘Au revoir enfance’ is about the grief of fully realising where I come from and what has made me function the way I have for the first half of my life.  Now as an adult I am creating this picture – this ‘still life’ or ‘nature morte’ – as a sign of what was and is no more.  Through that act of creation I am acknowledging my grief and freeing myself from the anger and pain. By speaking out I want to heal and embrace life.

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