Kearney recognises a disconnection with our surroundings and what she believes is an increasing fear of the remote outdoors as successive generations lead more interior-based lives - on computers, phones and via the internet - and parents become more nervous of children playing out of sight. In contrast, the girls here are empowered by the spaces and places they inhabit.
In odd post-industrial locations that are carefully selected, girls are seen absorbed in their activities - some mundane, some more mysterious. The complexity of the image lies in the many ways we can read the immediate past and future of these captured moments - vulnerability, concentration, solitude, and play.
Kearney questions the speed of modern life and rapid circulation of information, our loss of the ability to live in 'real time', and the irony of the remote landscape on the one hand made 'accessible' and yet more distant than ever, given our inability to exist within it. She asks: 'Will the next generation be one of nature deficit disorder?'.
Within this dialogue is the fear cited as the artist's initial motive in developing the work; the fear parents have in allowing their children out of sight - to roam and to be free in the landscape and thus to live out essential experiences. Children are rarely allowed to get lost which Kearney views as the beginning of finding oneself.
Frances Kearney (born 1970) is a British artist whose work employs the photographic medium and often take the form of large-scale color tableaux at the scale of 4ft x 5ft. She references painting, literature, (J.G Ballard, Rebecca Solnit, Mabey, Deakin), film, art history, contemporary culture, life. Since graduating with a Masters in Photography from the Royal College of Art, London in 1998 Kearney has exhibited widely. Exhibitions include: a solo exhibition at The Corner House, Manchester; Still, joint exhibition with Hannah Starkey at The Netherlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam. Group exhibitions include: Attitude: A History of Posing, The Canon Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum; Modern Times 1, The Hasselblad Center, Goteborg, Sweden; Some Parts Of This World, Helsinki Museum, Finland, Making It Up: Photographic Fictions at The Victoria and Albert Museum. Her works are held in public collections at The Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Media Museum Bradford, Norwich Museum & Art Gallery, The Saatchi Collection as well as various private collections in the UK and abroad.
For more information see www.franceskearney.com
A full colour hardback publication Running Wild accompanies the exhibition and is published by Norfolk Museums Service.