Elizabeth M. Claffey
Every Stone in Suburbia
 Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia
 Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia
 Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia
 Every Stone in Suburbia  Every Stone in Suburbia

Every Stone in Suburbia explores possession, ritual, and the early stages of independence during childhood.  Each image represents a rock from my daughter's collection.  When she was eighteen months of age, these small objects that comprise our gravel driveway became an obsession.  The act of gathering stones allowed her to break through the confines of home, while also experiencing the safety of boundaries.  Through this daily action, she exercises her will to personalize our shared space and family rituals.  While she explores the natural world and her body within it, I strive to memorize her childhood and we both become collectors.  These seemingly mundane objects are symbolic of personal choice and indicative of a value system that has not yet been socialized toward commercial possessions. 
 
In most cultures stones carry spiritual significance: as part of the physical world, they can represent permanence, strength, longevity, myth, even the divine.  At some level her choices are driven by enchantment and possibly a connection to the spirit or spiritual value she perceives in each stone.  Without the ability to communicate verbally, children learn and internalize the world through interaction.  This form of knowledge gathering is physically and emotionally intimate and can be lost in adulthood as many people rely on intellect to process experience.  
 
Each image is a circular, metallic inkjet print, 38” in diameter.
 
 
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