Second childhood

My project "Second Childhood" is part of a big art project in San Francisco in the art space SOMArts. July-August 2021

This project is called "Sounds Like Home"
Curators of the project Duygu and Bengu Gun

My project Second Childhood was born along with my son, seven years ago.

The interdisciplinary approach in my artistic practice has drawn on my experience as a psychologist and artist. Personal events in my life were the initial point of reference for my visual research. Over time, viewing the theme of second childhood through the stories of people and their families has allowed me to render the project international, including people belonging to other nationalities and cultures. The project has acquired a new semantic layer, and attempts to demonstrate how traditions influence personality development.

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Second Childhood produces a singular effect, affecting the natural mechanisms of our memory. When a parent is emotionally involved in their child's life, "a pigeonhole of long-term memory" opens up. When that happens, the person not only goes down the memory lane of his or her childhood, but also re-lives it. Playing and interacting with the child activates the "inner child", a part of one's personality responsible for curiosity, creativity, learning, as well as a relaxed attitude to life. It is a peculiar psychological effect. Interaction between two generations is not a one-way transfer of experience from parents to children, but also a powerful tool for personal development of all the participants. My task is to demonstrate this emotional connection in the context of various cultures.

The first exhibition took place in Perm in the entrance hall of the apartment block of my childhood. This exhibition-action
lasted a few hours and became a symbolic point of reference. The installation "Second Childhood" presents art objects, videos, graphics and drawings, sound recordings, and some artifacts from my childhood.
I am created the second series of the project "Second Childhood" in Sri Lanka, because my son was born in this country.
For me, this project is the way... I take it with me wherever I go. The story of Second Childhood develops on par with the geography of my travels. New art objects, that I add to the project in every new country, are pieces of the same puzzle. It has already taken place in Russia and Sri Lanka. Currently, I am working on the Turkish episode of Second Childhood.

To be continued...

Второе детство/Second childhood
The second part of my project "Second Childhood" was created in Sri Lanka, as here my son was born and he is growing up here.

This Installation is multimedia. Some part of the installation have been created in different media.
Each part is connected to one of my maternity periods on the island. For instance, I came to the abstract painting through physiological and hormone changes on my body. I started to paint abstractions when I was breastfeeding my son. I slept less, and for this reason my perception on the reality was kind of abstract. There were some short periods when my time belonged to me only. At that moment I entered my workshop and started painting with all the passion. By the way, when I was pregnant, I haven't created any paintings. My art requires much energy from me but at that time I was focused on bearing my child. That's why the paintings of that period are so bright, so passionate – I came back to art after a long professional starving.

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My installation "Second childhood" is based on the wreckage of fishermen boats which I found at the beach. This choice is not only connected to the island itself, - but also to my personal history at the island. Here I have given a life, but here my family life died. Before my divorce I was walking along the beach and picked the wreckage of the boats, ruined by storms in the sea. That was my meditation, my way to accept the current circumstances of my life. I realized, that if something got broken, it will never come back...

I am not the one who just accept the reality as it is – I like to make it better, at least symbolically. That was how my project "The Third Life" appeared. A new and beautiful boat can get crashed and become garbage in it's second life, but in the hands of an artist it can start the third life – as an art object. This idea belongs to Buddhism and it helped me to accept the new life of my family – family which consists of me and my son. That is why the central place in my installation belong to these wreckage.
One of the most important images which express the essence of the project "Second Childhood" is the video art "Reflection". This video was filmed with 2 cubes – the glass one and the mirror one under the water in the Indian Ocean, at Kabalana Beach in the South of Sri Lanka. I experienced the psychological effect of finding my reflection in my child, when we both were depending from each other. At that time I saw me in him – in his appearance, behavior, face, preferences, choice of food and games. This is a very intensive feeling when you see yourself in your child.

Collages turned out to be a new movement for me at that time. My collages are based on the quick sketches I make with ink. I started to make sketches when my son was a newborn. He used to sleep in the sling and I enjoyed my time, reflecting on the paper everything I saw around. Even now I still don't leave the house without my sketchbook and ink. I create my collages with the elements of antique books, written in three official languages in Sri Lanka – Sinhala, Tamil and English. I feel this as a symbolic reconstruction of the history, which we should never forget.
I like to create something new out of something that has been broken, create connections. This is my natural ability to save, change, transform, - and I can express this ability though my collages. It is no coincidence that there are three languages in Sri Lanka. Until the mid-20th century the island was an English colony. The Civil War between the Sinhala and Tamil people brought to the adoption of 2 other languages at the state level was a very significant step after the Thirty Years' War.
My collages reflect this historical process - to break something down and then create something new, like to tear something and glue it into something new. I see this process not only as the process of the country, but also an individual, a human being.

During my social art research in Sri Lanka I found many interesting facts. But it reflects also my personal story that I first lived through, and then researched, realized. The connection of the history of the island and my personal history on the island have been expressed in the installation you can see today.

Second childhood
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