September 15, 2019

September Shortlist – How do we connect to our teenagers when they become consumed by the digital age?

Lorna Somerville

Mixed medium Oil on Canvas, photography and paperSquare Eyes, 201991cm/71cm

This is an oil painting of my son watching TV. He no longer appears aware of me and the image on his t-shirt is the only one which appears to be paying attention.

The background is a photograph I took of a flower from our garden. I edited the image using Instagram then repeated the image over and over to create a wallpaper. I then printed this out on the home printer and added it to the background of the painting.
I suppose this is me as a parent acknowledging that this is now part of his world and one I need to learn to embrace.

When you watch a child grow through childhood, I think there are moments when you experience conflicted emotions. You are happy that they are growing up healthy and inquisitive. At the same time you feel sad that they are drifting away from you as they become teenagers and then adults. Finally, you worry about how they will navigate through all the external influences and the effects of social media and consumerism, which they must face alone.