It’s an important thing not to throw off our memories of childhood. They remind us that we too were once naive, that we believed in mystery and a world less bound by cause-and-effect. Anything was possible because we had not been taught the adult lesson of the impossible.
It can be easy to glorify the years of our youth as carefree and frivolous but those years were inherently a very scary time. The world loomed above us on every side, there were monsters under the bed and witches in the woods. Even sleep was as likely to mean sweet dreams as it was the vague shadows of nightmares.
And those things that unsettle us as a child tend to haunt us into adulthood. For me it was pink elephants, Bambi’s mother and Jim Henson’s Death in a sack. Even now, watching them I still experience a shadow of the terror I felt as a kid.
Some people are better than others at maintaining that childish sense of wonder but very few people I’ve met have maintained that childish sense of fear.
There is only one person’s whose talents I have been envious of for most of my life. Paul Compton and I grew up together and I’ve watched his talents grow into that of an amazing artist. The pictures used here are a few of my favourites from his most recent work.
I don’t know if this is how he would explain his work – or if he would approve – but it has always seemed to me to be like flicking through the pages of the dark magic of a child’s imagination, unchained by the borders between possible and impossible.
Paul has a talent for being able to look into a dark corner and see something beautiful in it. His work covers everything from drawing, to installation art, to book making.
His new show opens at Hand Held Gallery in Melbourne on the 7th May 2011. See here for details
Head over to his website: www.paulcompton.net to see more of Paul’s work.
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