AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT Age of Enlightenment (2013) As my son reached the end of his seventh year I became more aware of his increasing cognizance. According to Canon Law, this is the age at which children attain the ability to reason and have moral responsibility. By his eighth year he began to navigate the world in his own way and started to examine the concepts of death, betrayal, and the complexity of being human. I could see how his perception of life was now more influenced by others beyond the family. Holding on and letting go, experiencing a loss of innocence began during this ‘Age of Enlightenment.’ When I talked to other parents of children approaching the same age, I began to realize how critical a turning point it is not only for the child, but for the parents too. I explore this familial transformation utilizing inspiration from The Braque Family Triptych, a religious altarpiece, to look at the shift in domestic connections. I create portraits using contemporary families with a child who has reached the age of reason. The children wear a red piece of clothing as a metaphor for their relation to the adults by blood. Each child holds onto their favorite toy from childhood, some more closely than others, representing their readiness or hesitancy to accept their entry into this period of life. The parents express their own desire to hold on, let go or assist their child with tools they will need as they mature into adulthood symbolized by such objects as a book for knowledge, a dog for loyalty and a pair of owls for wisdom. These "altarpiece" style artifacts honor the significant-yet often overlooked-transition for every family.