Comfort Objects

Artist Statement

A comfort object is a toy or blanket that takes on emotional importance to a child. A physical link to a child’s emotional and psychological world, often bearing the stains and scars of tears and play. While I did not have one as a child, my three children have each had one. Like many parents, I’ve hunted for it at bedtime, sent it along when leaving a child in another person’s care, and carefully packed it on trips.

In developmental psychology comfort objects are called ‘transitional objects’ and act as a substitute for the mother-child bond, helping the child navigate separation by providing a stand-in. I am fascinated by this link to parenting, and to motherhood in particular.

The children in my series include my own and those of friends and strangers. The objects provide a means for the children to reveal elements of their emotional lives and an opportunity to consider the role physical possessions play in meeting psychological needs. Most profoundly for me though, they are a vehicle for pondering childhood and reflecting on my feelings about parenting.

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