Laurel Garcia Colvin delves into the complex world of childhood and fantasy with The Enchantment series and presents the viewer with a place for self-reflection.

Mined from the artist’s memories of childhood, these graphically strong paintings on wood panels comprise an all over wallpaper pattern, providing a monochromatic ground against which silhouetted figures of children explore flora and fauna under the moonlight, an environment both precarious and enchanting.

These allegorical narratives are robust with symbolic meaning associated with traditional fairy tales. The moon, the wolf, the frog, flora and fauna are scrupulously utilized to construct images that explore the formative emotional world of the child. This and an interest in transformation and the philosophic journey of human beings from birth to death are enduring subjects in Garcia Colvin’s oeuvre.

The innocent child, cloaked in a twilight landscape, is on the brink of awakening to something new. There is a sense of wonder and pleasure seeking in this private, moonlit world—a journey of insight and discovery that reflects the inner landscape of childhood.

Though we may respond to images of a child alone in a strange, dreamlike world with danger and anxiety, we adults have learned how things are; we are doubtful, fearful, and cautious. Garcia Colvin’s images captivate us. They generate the desire to be in/to return to a place of childlike wonder and discovery, to literally shed layers, to unlearn and be completely open to the world, to be freshly in the moment of creativity with an undaunted appetite for new experiences.

As with all good fairy tales, The Enchantment series portrays life issues in miniature. Garcia Colvin carefully drives her meaning, inviting us to embark on a journey into a shadowy world in which her characters signify facets of our own personalities and in so doing provides subconscious keys to help us navigate our adult lives. If we align ourselves to them—as a child does to the hero or heroine in a fairy tale—we emerge with insight and aroused energy through which to search for meaning in our lives.

Dede Young
Independent Curator
2009