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Exhibition explores tweenage dreams

By Sarah Brookes NOT all 12-year-old girls are Kardashian-watching, lipstick obsessed tweens who screech and giggle.

That is the finding of Hills photographer Kate McHardy and writer Jay Crisp Crow, the duo behind a collaborative project exploring what 12-year-old girls believe about themselves, others and the world.

Ms Crisp Crow said The Bridge Between project, which will culminate with the launch of a photographic and story exhibition this month, was an exploration close to their hearts.

“Both of us have the honour of raising daughters about to become teenagers,” she said.

“They do giggle, they probably screech, but get them one on one and they’re really thinking and considering how they’re going to tackle the world.

“They have big and small dreams, they’re deep and mature, while at the same time still so young.

“I just wanted to give them a platform to tell us their stories because I felt as if they were underrepresented.”

Ms Crisp Crow said she was surprised at how prevalent bullying was.

“I specifically did not use the word bully when interviewing the girls, but instead asked about friendships and school,” she said.

“There have been a few teary moments, which is so heartbreaking. But it’s happening to so many of them and they’re dealing with it quietly.”

But Ms Crisp Crow said it was heartening that each of the girls stood out as a complex, complicated person.

“These girls are not a faceless number in this idea that some parts of society have about tweenagers,” she said.

“They are thinking about the world they’re inheriting, they have kindness and confusion about how best to take it on and they’re so hopeful for the future.”

Ms Crisp Crow said few girls had positive views about the media.

“They all believe news has impacted the way they see the world as a negative, dangerous place,” she said.

“I think our children have access to so much information, and I’m not sure whether this makes them more globally conscious citizens or just increases the divide between us, here, safe in the Hills and them somewhere else.”

The exhibition is on November 21 and 22 at Up The Hill B&B in Mundaring.

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