CAROLINA CLEERE
The primary focus of this work is to create a narrative portrait of lost innocence.

The series began over eighteen years ago as a catharsis while reflecting on my own path in life. My inspiration comes from both personal experiences and stories I see or hear about on a constant basis. Pick up a newspaper on any given day and the headlines reveal an increasingly dark place where violence and poverty endanger the sanctity of youth. During my career as a photojournalist I observed countless atrocities involving children in horrible circumstances. The worst of these events, such as a father dealing drugs from his toddler's diaper, a fatal house fire started by a five-year-old's birthday cake, or a racially motivated church bombing, made me question how the lives of the children involved would be changed forever and how they would eventually view their own childhoods.

Thrust a child prematurely into adulthood and innocence is lost forever because children are fragile and their purity is fleeting. My work is driven by a desire to explore these emotions from joy to angst and hope to pain.

Children are like a blank canvas. Over time our collection of memories are the color which create our identities. I use plants, animals, objects and color as visual symbols to carefully relay the context of a piece. This symbolism gives psychological meaning to an imaginary world where a mind can find comfort from the suffering of reality. Faces are purposely created to appear introspective so the viewer can bring their own experiences to the surface. My hope is to lure viewers into a narrative world full of allusions, leaving the mind room to explore its own meanings.


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