About the Book
Nostalgia, is defined as a sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. This still life series is a study of my personal belongings arranged by color and visually inspired by the childhood game, I Spy. It is a web of memories, ranging from the treasures of scavenger hunts, trinkets of travel, to gifts from family, friends and lovers collected over the years. The images are accompanied by a list of the contents to engage the viewer in a game of hide and seek.
In these color saturated scenes, ordinary objects, such as dolls heads and playing cards, are placed next to articles less familiar in the realm of childhood, including an opium pipe, bird skeletons, a lobster and a teeth mold, to name a few. Such juxtapositions render even commonplace items strange, exotic and emotionally charged. The photographs thus draw us into the imagination and perspective of a child, for whom the most ordinary of objects can become the material of fantasy, and at the same time conjure the very adult feeling of nostalgia, of longing for a romanticized past.
People collect in an effort to remember and relive the past. We use keepsakes to stimulate memory, especially to trigger fond memories, but even if memory cannot be relied upon to faithfully reproduce a record of the past, it remains vital to our understanding of the past. A magical relationship develops between collector and object that is evident in all collecting. Collections can reflect a fascination with the “Other” and the marginal, the ephemeral, exotic, or just plain curious. It allows us to live in another world, another time for a while. The following images are filled with objects of little monetary value to the outside world, but each serves as a priceless sentimental landmark in the emotional landscape of my memories.
Claire Rosen is an award winning artist whose transportive imagery uses universal themes of dreams, fairy tales and mythology to visually symbolize the many facets of the human condition. Her elaborate constructions are reminiscent of classical paintings, and evoke the aesthetics and ideals of Pre-Raphaelite, Romantic and Gothic periods. The dark and whimsical images often explore concepts of nostalgia, memory, femininity and depictions of the self, frequently referencing the Victorian Era with its fascination of the natural world and ideals of beauty.