Posted by: Ann Lauwers | March 26, 2012

Imagination, Inner Child and the Importance of Play.

Having an opportunity to watch and play with young children is truly a blessing. Even a moment can make all your adult worries magically disappear. Play allows you to be high jacked back to that time when anything was possible. Your arms become wings when you ran really fast. Add a little leaping in with the running and you were flying over the trees. You were invincible. You were carefree. Your neighborhood became a safari where cats became fierce lions you needed to capture to take to the zoo.  You were anything your heart desired.

I had a chance to visit London, England some years ago. We stayed just a few blocks from what was once the home of James Mathew Barrie, author of the timeless story of Peter Pan.

James would often visit Kensington Gardens just across the street from his home. While walking his dogs one day, he met a six year old boy by the name of Michael Llewelyn Davies.  The Davies family had five boys and James played with them daily. They would become the inspiration for his play.  Michael would play the part of Peter Pan but the character of Peter Pan was actually inspired from the tragic death of James’s older brother in which he comforted himself with the thought that his brother would forever remain the boy who would never go up.

After the play came out in 1902, James secretly placed a bronze statue in the gardens where, in the story, Peter Pan flies out of his nursery and lands beside the Long Water – on the spot where the statue stands.  I sat on a bench not far from that statue, envisioning how he would have played with those children.

Years later, the movie “Finding Neverland”, starring Johnny Depp, confirmed my visions. I’m grateful that Johnny played the part of James.  I felt he was the perfect choice for that role. The ease of which Johnny plays his whimsical characters is a brilliant example of how he has not lost his sense of play, his inner child.  Although I’ve never met Johnny, I sense that he is much like James Barrie in real life. The way that he would much rather go play in his imaginary world, then be around the stuffy adults. I wonder if, he too, struggles with acting like an adult when his professional life is made up of such imaginative characters. I truly enjoy the wondrous characters Johnny has created in the past, and I am looking forward to seeing that sense of play from him for many years to come.

In my work, like James and Johnny, I use my child like sense of wonder. My adult mind is completely set aside as I allow my inner child to infuse me with curiosity for my subjects and surroundings. At this point time doesn’t even exist as shapes and textures become faces and friends. I imagine the essences of my surroundings, the trees, the flowers, the rocks, delight in this time we spend together. This is my communion with Nature and I love every minute of it.

Ann Lauwers

An Artist View Photography


  1. Enjoy the new Website. Great writing on you part Ann.!

    • Thanks!! I plan on blogging the book on a little slower pace than An Artist View website. I’m also still working on my second book and am looking for more trees to photograph. Stay in touch.

  2. Great artical, I unfortunately had some problems printing this artcle out, The print formating looks a little screwed over, something you might want to look into. 975107

    • I’ll have to give that a try. I’m still a bit new to using wordpress and haven’t got all of the kinks worked out yet. I’ll work on it. Thanks

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