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Tina Keane
Tina Keane's works are structured by formal devices, one at least of which appears so frequently that it can be said to define a deep tendency in her art.

This is the figure of the ladder, chain, ring or garland. The TV sets may form this figure, or it may occur in the films themselves, for example the ring of bodies revolving underwater in Neon Diver. The linking pattern has a paradoxical effect since it suggests both the unifying solidarity of a binding structure and its constraints. These ambiguities have been explored with great subtlety by Tina Keane in several works concerned with childhood. Like a number of other artists, such as Susan Hiller and Lea Lublin, who have worked with or included their children in their art work, Tina Keane in the late 1970s and early 1980s collaborated closely with her young daughter Emily in performances and films (Shadow Woman, 1977; Playpen, 1979; Clapping Songs, 1981; Hopscotch, 1986).

These explored , at several levels, a fine line between freedom and entrapment. Children's uninhibited play, a metaphor for artistic creation, can be seen as part of a continuum, the expression of a collectivity of children forming an unbroken chain through history. In the game of hopscotch, although the signs are hurriedly chalked on the pavement and soon abandoned, the ritual is a memory going back to Neolithic times. The video Hopscotch is a sort of visual essay: on the left of the black screen, in a Polaroid-like framed image, the scrawled figures of spiral, ladder and numbers on London pavements, and the occasional jumping feet, are jerkily scanned by the camera, while on the right a scrolling text describes the antiquity of hopscotch, its inscription on a pavement in the Roman Forum, its references to solar and astronomical symbolism. In Hopscotch Tina also aims to dissolve the divisions within aesthetics by relating the pavement chalkings with the artist's drawing and the scientist's diagram.

Seeing children's games as very ancient, linked to intellectual systems and eternally fresh, reminds adults of the springs of creativity and knowledge, a perception expressed in many epochs and cultures ("the playing child is master of the universe" - Heraclitus, Greece; "what the year will bring is found in the games of children" - Songay proverb, Africa). Yet the individual cannot return to childhood. The adult takes pleasure in rediscovering her own childhood through her daughter - Tina's collaboration with Emily is also with herself as a child - yet fears she may pass on to her daughter the constricting social view of women imposed on her. Multiple chains, comforting bonds and necessary breaks.

Still from Hopscotch by Tina Keane, 1986
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