Cherish explores the potential for simple decorative consumer objects to act as powerful metaphors for thoughts and emotional states.
The objects in Cherish are all pink in colour, chosen for their symbolic references to femininity, cuteness, sweetness and childhood as a state of transience and enchantment.
“My son has always had a fascination with pink. In a toy store he immediately gravitates to the shelves laden with pink things. Now that he is nine years old, and after considerable teasing at school, he realises that pink is for girls. I find this highly specific form of gender stereotyping both fascinating and disturbing. As my son grows out of his love of pink, I note with a considerable sense of loss, he is also rapidly shifting out of childhood and the world of imaginative play that he has inhabited for many years.”
Pink is considered to be feminine and is the preferred colour for girls’ toys and accessories. In this context pink is artificial, kitsch and excessive, yet considered in terms of children’s fantasy and imaginative play, it takes on another role altogether. An ornamental pink plastic mirror with flashing LED lights is not merely a cheap plastic toy, but an object of feminine beauty and power, investing its owner with magical gifts.
The objects in Cherish are photographed on a seamless white ground using a digital Hasselblad camera, printed to life-size, with minimal shadow to emphasise vulnerability.