PORTFOLIOS: Amelia & the Animals: 2002-2015
Amelia & the Animals
The Amelia and the Animals photographs are drawn from actual journeys undertaken with my daughter in the interspecies world that we inhabit with animals, of all varieties, over fourteen years, through 2016. Our collaboration has two new series: Amelia, Emily & Babie & the Lure series. Amelia is a co-creator.
The world that my daughter and I explore is one where the line between human and animal overlaps or is blurred, where animals are part of our world and humans are part of theirs. Amelia and I play out our fantasies and explore our eccentricities to create a cultural space in the photographs where animals not only co-exist with humans, but also interact as full partners.
I am driven to depict our relationships with animals in the hope that these moments portray the sameness of humans and animals. Amelia has an enormous fortitude and ingenuity in her ability to relate to each individual animal with kindness and respect. My daughter is more than a pretty muse. Amelia is smart, tough, and brave enough to calmly cajole animals. (It is important for me to note that Amelia is connecting with real, live, animals. No one is Photo-shopped into the images.) As Amelia matured, her collaboration with me enriched and expanded this project.
Animals and interspecies relationships have always been the motivation in all my long-term projects. Animals in my photographs are not represented by beastly, noble, or as props. Each animal is seen and experienced as an individual, part of our everyday world, participating in the dramas the photographs capture.
My daughter and I share affinity with the animal kingdom that unites us to create photographs that tangibly access our dreams and discover the extraordinary. These twenty-on years of motherhood were often shadowed by a whirlwind of work deadlines. In retrospect, this series represents the most significant era of my life, which became a lifeline to my child.
Robin Schwartz, mother to Amelia Paul