Teen Portraits

As a mother and artist I continue to be amazed and inspired by the immense changes, both spiritual, emotional and physical, that occur throughout the teen years.

In 2018 my son Dante completed Year 12 at secondary school. This series of portraits began as a way to celebrate this significant time for my son and other young people in our community.

A portrait to reflect who they were as children & who they are now on the cusp of stepping out onto their path into adult life.

The purpose of the typical Victorian photographic portrait was to capture commemorative events, records of achievement, prized possessions, special occasions, rites of passage.

In the typical studio set up painted backdrops or curtains were used to create a stage like set. All the elements, including props, used in the portrait provided essential information that defined the sitter’s character and status.

Playing with the idea of the Victorian Era portrait, I invited students in their final year of highschool to bring objects from their childhood or early teens that represent what they were really into, what was important to them. Each teen chose a selection of fabrics to hang as a backdrop and they arranged their special objects on various pedestals to ultimately create a theatre of memory, a theatre of identity.

© Denise Martin 2019