Vanessa Filley

How Does Your Garden Grow?
20 x 30 in.

As a child I dreamed big dreams I couldn’t bring into reality. When I became a mother my childhood dreams resurfaced and I had a certain longing to bring them into being, to make them tangible and true. The images in my work are moments of my childhood and motherhood combined, then translated into a story slightly beyond myself. They are my imaginings embodied by my daughters. They come from a deep seed within, unleashed fantasy, but perhaps the most honest place inside me. It has been said that in the end an artist is forced to vomit up the whole truth, if obliquely, and in some way these images encompass a more expansive truth of my dreams, fears and imaginings, fragments of childhood real and not, the truth of an internal dialog carried on incongruously with the world around me, shaped by it and yet yearning for some other oblivion. These images are not the world I want to live in now, but they are glimpses into the fragmented eerie landscape I may have imagined once upon a time.

What if one day we destroy our environment so much we are no longer able to grow food and flowers out of doors? Will we be able to cultivate that same beauty indoors? Will it be reminiscent of a past we once knew? This image embodies the truth of my fears while evoking a sense of childhood of the past where children were left unattended to create a world from their uninterrupted imagination. But would any parent ever have allowed for this to happen today? Perhaps and perhaps it did, the mess of it all.

© Vanessa Filley