In “The Ghillies” an indefinable anthropomorphic presence dominates the natural environment. Inside these statues are young boys on the cusp of adolescence, wearing ghillie or camouflage suits (traditionally for hunting and military purposes).

This project began with my son’s enthusiasm for online games featuring simulated ghillies. These photographs speak both directly and metaphorically about boys, adolescence and identity and how they might reconcile their inner world with the social demands of the outer world as they navigate the darker continent of the teens.

The body is concealed and childhood identity slowly recedes, leaving a figure that becomes one with the surroundings. These apparitions speak to us about transformation, our own shape shifting and self-realizing periods in our lives. The abstract meeting of the inner child and outer presence may indicate the latent wisdom and self-acceptance only realized with the cyclical nature of our life-spans that inevitably brings us back to the vulnerability and freedom of youth.

Polixeni Papapetrou