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Photo artist Anne MacDonald does not depict the grossly ramp ant\, tangled and trampled mess\, the tumultuous chaos\, confusion and clut ter that we associate with boisterous children’s parties and the debris tha t is left behind after the last mother has collected her over-excited child .
Instead\, a sense of emptiness\, of stillness\, of silence and fragi lity and loss pervades Anne MacDonald’s poignant images of the aftermath of a children’s birthday party.
The clamour and noise is no longer. A sp ilt drink\, cake crumbs\, a spent party popper\, a spatter of glitter\, a f ew nonpareils\, a discarded party hat\, limp ribbons and a deflated balloon are all that remain\; sad and solitary remnants that symbolize another pas sing birthday and yet another year of childhood gone.
Her still life p hotographs are a paean\, a touching homage. They are stylised tableaus\; un derstated quasi memorials to the transience of childhood and a mother’s sen se of the inevitability and loss experienced with each outwardly celebrator y rite of passage associated with the annual birthday party:
“As a par ent\, observing my child growing up fills me with wonder\, but also a sense of loss.
Children's birthday parties are important social rituals\, a nd on the surface of things\, joyous and festive celebrations of life. Howe ver\, on another level\, they are compelling indicators of time’s inexorabl e passing. Children's party decorations\, food\, gifts\, games\, toys and c ostumes alter each year with the age of the child. Their role extends beyon d pure ornament and artifice to become symbolic of a transitory childhood w orld.
Looking at children’s birthday parties as symbols of loss and i mpermanence\, ‘Party’ continues my exploration into the relationship betwee n the photographic still life\, transience and mortality. In this series I have recreated ephemeral banquet scenes of party cakes and decorations. The images record the aftermath of the party\, when all the fun is over\, the presents have been opened\, the cake eaten and the guests have left.”
Party is the second photographic series of Anne MacDonald’s that explores t he transience of childhood. It follows on from Cherish\, exhibited in 2010 at Artereal. MacDonald’s works are held in significant Australian collectio ns including the National Gallery of Australia (which recently acquired a n umber of works to add to their existing holdings of her work)\, the Art Gal lery of South Australia\, Art Gallery of Western Australia\, Gold Coast Cit y Art Gallery and Artbank.


DTEND:20130427 DTSTAMP:20141001T011537 DTSTART:20130403 GEO:-33.8653276;151.1675429 LOCATION:Artereal Gallery\,747 Darling Street \nRozelle \, NSW 2039 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: PARTY\, ANNE MACDONALD UID:268702 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130403T200000 DTSTAMP:20141001T011537 DTSTART:20130403T180000 GEO:-33.8653276;151.1675429 LOCATION:Artereal Gallery\,747 Darling Street \nRozelle \, NSW 2039 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY: PARTY\, ANNE MACDONALD UID:268703 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR