On Seeing, A Journal.
Growing Up: Amme Neskirlu
November 6, 2020
4 years and 24 years
I have studied over 200 children from childhood into their 20’s. I began with some when their mothers were pregnant; others started about the time they could read and write. For all of them I made annual studio portraits and asked them to write answers to a series of questions, a kind of diary about their lives, their feelings, their hopes, their regrets.
Also, after each session, I asked each child to draw a picture of their family and describe each member and their thoughts and feelings about them.
Most of the kids made stick drawings; perhaps we will publish these one day. Amme, as an accomplished artist, made incredible drawings two of which are included below.
5 days old, with mom
The father of this talented, bright, mindful young woman
is an accomplished and highly respected artist
(he creates images for New Yorker Magazine covers) and
has been a friend of mine for 40 years.
Her mother is an accomplished photographer.
I thank him and mom for allowing
me the extraordinary gift of including her in “Growing Up.”
I am interested in everything about human development. I am fascinated by maturation, growth, emotional, educational and physical development. My exploration, a major 30 year odyssey, has been an adventure that has yielded riches beyond my imagining.
Permission was signed by the parents of each and every child every year, and by the participants themselves once they turned 18. In addition, we have now sent copies of all of their writings and edited photographs to the participants for whom I have finished all my editing and have received full permission from that group to publish and post. A few chose to use pseudonyms.