Cradle, 2020Kristie Elen Herrin (Rio Americano High School, 11th Grade)
This piece is dedicated to my grandparents, especially my maternal grandma, who is the woman who passed on her love for art and her artistic ability to me.
During the summer of 2019, I had a gathering with my instant and extended family on my mom’s side. During this gathering, I realized how different everything is now compared to how it was when I was a child. I realized that my family is aging and dying in front of me, my cousins, who were once blissful and innocent, are now dealing with the struggles that mark the beginning of adulthood. I, myself, had changed from the happy, enthusiastic child that I once was, into a sick, depressed, scarred, anxious, traumatized young woman. I realized that I was growing up, and I felt as if events in my life had ripped my childhood innocence away from me too early. Cradle is meant to symbolize the bittersweetness of growing up and the early loss of childhood. The cheery field of flowers with the gloomy ambiance of the cloudy sky is meant to be a juxtaposition in the sense that flowers and blue skies are often associated with positive, happy feelings, and big, stormy clouds are generally associated with negative, sad feelings. In the piece, my childhood self has a bloody nose, and that is meant to represent the more serious situations that I was put into as a child, and thus causing me to have to grow up more quickly. I want my piece to symbolize the period of time between childhood and adulthood, the period of time where you realize your past self is dead, and it’s time to move on. This piece is dedicated to my grandparents, especially my maternal grandma, who is the woman who passed on her love for art and her artistic ability to me.