IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME, 2013 & IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME, 2017 Charcoal, watercolor, China ink and wax pastel on pigment print, each 48 x 34 cm. Edition of 1 + 1AP. 2013 and 2017

Seemingly, so little difference, just some additional specks of colour upon old thick layers of black – and yet so much significance behind these layers of time and space.

Black covering face and hands, extinguishing individuality, mirroring societal norms being forced upon the young child – and gradually youthful courage and self-consciousness vanish. A development that casts its shadows across time, its traces perceptible still in 2013 when the journey of self-discovery is just about to begin, but the introspective quest still goes off in the dark.

But slowly, what once looked solely black gains a new intensity: colours are emerging, face and hands are shaped afresh, a new sense of self-determination and self-confidence arises – and brings along the ability to now fully embrace the richness and variety of both the individual and the outside world.

©Alice Schmatzberger Art historian. Independent writer, lecturer, and consultant