A "Mad World' is one where children are no longer able to be children. We see images of children at play as symbols of a time in our loves before we internalised the habits and conventions of our socio-political environment.
But to what extent have the children we see at play already been commercialised?
'Tweens' strut their stuff in high heels and midriff tops while their little brothers and sisters play- act McDonald's drive-thrus. Do these things represent an exploration of the boundaries between childhood and the adult world, or are they symptoms of a systematic exploitation of a vulnerable demographic by canny advertisers? Is it simply the case that there is no real separation between the worlds children play in and the world adults live in?
The images I created for Mad World of children at play incorporate the cultural iconography and lifestyle 'branding' which are such inescapable elements of their developmental environment. Coca- cola, Mc'Donalds, Shell and super hero's-- how do these commercial realities mesh with our desire to see childhood as time of cherubic innocence?
The children I etch are not real. They are images. Icons, if you will. But they are images based on real children, in the real world, living and playing and absorbing their environment like willing sponges.