The story of the pure child project
We are born pure, innocent, connected, as part of nature. As we grow up we lose more and more of our own true essence and step into a machine of expectations and judgements. We are considered to adjust to fit in. Because of our wish and nature to connect with others around us, we gradually disconnect with ourselves. As a result, we lose the connection with others, and with nature.
While I researched our connection with nature for Pure Child Project the last one and a half year, I found the four elements of nature: earth, air, water and fire, as valuable entries to investigate the connection more in-dept. Earth provides us a home and roots to start from, and feeds us. Air gives us space to play and the ability to be open to the unknown. Fire awakens our heart and fuels our engine to follow our passions. Water enables us to flow from moment to moment and let life move through us, being part of the flow of life.
How can we grow up rooted, feel free to play, are open to the unknown, follow our inner fire and desires of our heart, and effortlessly flow with the river of our lives? To keep our nature alive and connect to all life/nature around us we have to trust our human nature again. Our senses, our inner wisdom, our longings, our love.
With the photographs I want to invite people to dive into the connection, with nature, with their inner child, their purity, their essence and awaken the strength of the elements of nature within them. Just let nature happen within. Welcome the new, the unknown, and the deep wisdom nature holds, and trust our human nature again, so our lives unfold themselves together with the future of nature.
Why I explore the pure child nature
When I became a mother eight years ago, I became curious about what my child would develop naturally without my interference. It stunned to me how beautiful and intelligent the ‘natural system’ of my child and me as a mother were. I also noticed the disconnectedness of our lives with nature and how parenting in our modern world contributes to that. I became more and more interested in new ways of living true to our nature. Following my children helped me reconnecting with my own true nature. I was overwhelmed by the feeling of connection, most strongly with my children.
The photography portraits invitation
With portraits of young children (age 0-7), expressing the elements of nature (earth, air, fire, water) from within, combined with portraits of nature, the project shows the connection between nature and humans. It invites us to feel nature within, and let go of the separation between humans and nature.
People are invited to ‘step into’ the work to experience the pure nature of the children, and at the same time their own connection with nature, nature within them. Ideally the person observing the work becomes part of the work. The perfect place for the photographs will be somewhere outside where people can get a glimps of the work while passing by and become curious for a closer look, and step into it.
Thanks to photography foundation MIAP (Message in a photo) and their open call with the theme The future of nature, I wrote down what the photography part of the project would look like. It freed up a lot of energy and creativity and brought me to the essence and story to tell with the project and the adventure at hand.
The coming months I will dive into the connection with children trying to grasp with my camera their expressions of ‘earth’, ‘air’, ‘fire’ and ‘water’ in a one-on-one encounter (with the mother or father around). Beside, I dive deeper into the elements in nature with my camera, in the forest, the river, a fire and looking up and playing around in the open air. Meanwhile I keep on writing about the elements in parenting and my personal experiences for the book ‘Wisdom of the pure child’ of the project.