"Alex among the Lilliputians" by Eric Rennie
I am primarily a landscape photographer, but like Lewis Carroll, I also occasionally like to take pictures of a certain little girl – not Alice in this case but Alex, my granddaughter. She is pictured above at age five at the Kid City children’s museum in Middletown, CT. This image appears in a juried competition called Simply at the Center for Fine Arts Photography in Fort Collins, CO from February 26, 2016 to March 26, 2016. Forty-nine images were selected by juror David Carol from among 1,325 submitted by 352 artists from 29 countries.
We forget how the world appears to a small child and how little power they have to operate in an environment where almost everything is above their line of sight and out of reach. Dolls and toy trucks enable children to engage imaginatively with the larger world long before they are capable of mastering it any other way. They create their own small worlds. Those who build model cars and airplanes as kids may continue to build scale models as grownup engineers and architects. Walt Disney was a model railroad buff his entire life. The 1/8-scale miniature railroad he operated on a half-mile track in his own backyard became the prototype for the narrow-gauge steam trains he operated at Disneyland.
Why this lingering fascination with miniature realms? Perhaps it’s because we never outgrow a sense that the world we normally inhabit is vastly larger than ourselves. And yet if we pay strict attention to the world as it actually presents itself to us, we will realize it is never larger than our own bodies. Our bodily senses conjure a world of sweeping vistas that plays out in the theater of the mind, but its true breadth is never greater than the space between our ears. It’s one of those clever tricks of perspective that makes you believe the small world you actually occupy encompasses an entire universe.