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The Spots of Youth

Christa Barnell's avatar Christa Barnell

The "Deerdancer" represents my relationship with the place where I grew up in rural Indiana. The figure is symbolically safeguarding the innocence of youth by protecting the fawn. She stands statue-still while her skirt "the fabric of her universe" continues in motion. The back-drop carousel spins in infinite circles with no destination and no real obstacles, only perceived ones. Some of the carousel deer escape this hamster wheel routine, their fleeting forms obscured. This unmanned carnival was a recurring dream of mine, it was always located beside my parent's woods. As in life, the carnival is packed up and the magic comes to an end. After having moved to Michigan and experiencing the vastness of the Great Lakes, I realized my Indiana pond, the once-great epicenter of my world, was just a puddle. You can see the fawn's impermanent spots reflected there in the puddle, like a constellation guiding us home.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 1.5 inches
  • Medium: Oil
  • Width: 48 inches
  • Year created: 2019
  • Height: 60 inches