The Innocents is part of the Transfigurations series, a group of works that reflect on the passage of time and the process by which a person’s inner being is transformed. The medieval mystic Ibn al’ Arabi described life as an endless journey when he said: The Self is an ocean without a shore. Gazing upon it has no beginning or end, in this world and the next. This profound vision of the eternal nature of human life is eloquently expressed in these works that use water as a metaphor for transformation.
This diptych presents two young people, male and female, at a time of their coming of age. They emerge independently from the shadows and walk towards us, their features becoming increasingly clear as they approach. We realize that their journeys will be solitary, with no interaction between them. Each passes through a wall of water that becomes more turbulent as they cross. Moving into the light, soaking wet and stunned, as if enduring a rite of passage or a birth, it slowly dawns on them that they have arrived. Gradually, however, they are drawn back from where they came, slowly, inexorably, back through the light and the water, into the darkness to continue their cycle of birth and death.