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Why do we learn things the hard way
when the truth is so simple?

We are at the dawn of a powerful awareness, where play and
creativity can provide the answers we seek -
The path to our healing and wellbeing lies in reconnection with our inner child no matter how we have lost touch with that time of innocence.

Yet ironically we fail to notice that our own children are being robbed of these very years of innocence and play that we now long to rediscover for ourselves.

What is happening to the free and formative years where imagination and creativity reign supreme,
where fun and spontaneity define a child’s world and who they are?
It seems that from the moment of their birth, today’s children are heaped with the weight of our expectations, our stresses, our lifestyle challenges, and the choices we force upon them.
They are channeled into programs, daycares, preschools and educational institutions,
They are measured, recorded, graded, compared, molded and
fitted into bell-shaped curves,
bombarded with media at every level, pumped, hyped, drugged
or fed a toxic overload of adult content.
Any innocence they have gets trampled in the fast paced race for survival.

They are more familiar with a screen and a login name than an
open field or forest or a tree to be climbed,
They are more at home with the digital, wireless, handheld, mobile, computerized world
than the freedom and beauty of the natural one.

When their moment comes to seek their own wellbeing and happiness,
when all they have is themselves
and what lies within,
Who will they turn to? Who will they revert to?
Who will guide and save them,
if the inner child is not there,
nor ever has been?

(Wendy Slee 2008)
Created for the 2008 Mullalyup Muster Art Prize
Theme: Endangered Species – notes from a romance with economic rationalism….

This is the image that won first prize.

(I am still in shock!)
But also ecstatic, so a big thank you to Naomi and Elliott and all involved with the Mullalyup Gallery and this particular exhibition as I am very grateful for the privilege of entering work in such amazing company, and having it viewed by my peers….and to receive such high recognition/acknowledgement for my work.


  • demon
    demonalmost 7 years ago

    I echo your sentiments Wendy, It seems today the lifestyle for children is going the wrong way, to have some plain old good fun, find self entertaiment is a thing of the past…lovely work …Huggs

  • Kharma
    Kharmaalmost 7 years ago

    wonderful creative image Wendy …
    happy to say my children still ride bicycles and chalk draw in the street and walk with me and nature .. a happy balance of old world innocence and new tech ..

  • Kharma
    Kharmaalmost 7 years ago

    oh and Congratulations on the win :>)

  • blamo
    blamoalmost 7 years ago

    thought provoking terrific concept well carried out

  • Andy Harris
    Andy Harrisalmost 7 years ago

    great creativity in this… and very powerful….!

  • midzing
    midzingalmost 7 years ago

    beautiful, powerful and so sadly true,,,, well done Wendy, on the image, and the win,,,,

  • helene
    helenealmost 7 years ago

    Such a powerful image Wendy and you’ve said it so well as usual! Congratulations on the win – it’s well deserved and thanks for sharing.

  • Larry Lingard-Davis
    Larry Lingard-...almost 7 years ago

    The young boy, looking back to his lost childhood and innocence…
    Ahead, adulthood and reality.
    Oh’ what I would give to go back.
    And that is why I try to hold on to my imagination.
    If I loose that…. I am dead.
    Thank God there are people like you….. You talented person You.

  • Basia McAuley
    Basia McAuleyalmost 7 years ago

    This is such an exceptional image, I love the composition, the colour and depth but most of all I totally love the meaning. I totally agree and find it particularly sad at the truth behind it. Brilliant work dear Wendy.. Bravo!

  • flame7
    flame7almost 7 years ago

    Oh wow – such an amazing compelling image and the meaning behind it – your words – your choice of words. This has left me speachless Wendy. My take on it is one of leaving the innosence and the world we knew as children to as you say the modern cyber/techno world! The little boy looking back and then venturing into the …..Enter user name and password is so powerful! Just an amazing shot – and I congratulate you for creating this. Very powerful – congratulations. You are extremely talented. K

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