Here’s Part 2 of my Dumfries portraits session with Kevin (check out Part 1) where Joanna and her son finally opened their magic bag and produced a black bicorn naval hat with a gold trim and two (!) crocs as their surprise props.
These items just re-inforced my conviction about how salient J. M. Barrie‘s Neverland legacy became in Dumfries cultural space and in children’s imagination.
The Peter Pan story, along with Robert Burns’ poetry, firmly placed the town on the map of the world literary history. Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinker Bell, Captain Hook and his pirates graced the streets and stages of Dumfries, and in 2019 Peter Pan Moat Brae national centre opened its reading rooms, as well as indoor and outdoor playgrounds, to encourage creativity and the spirit of adventure in the young audiences.
We already photographed Kevin under the rowan tree outside the Baker’s Oven with a side alley then decorated with Jo McSkimming’s Peter Pan themed mural commissioned by the People’s Project. The poor Captain Hook fragment of the mural was vandalised earlier but lovingly restored. Once I saw Kevin’s toys and the naval costume piece I thought this narrow close would make the perfect next stage for our Dumfries portraits.
Kevin wanted to be photographed playing with both of his crocodiles. Fair enough! Give us two, or even three (taking into account the painted croc on the wall)! We positioned the boy wearing his bicorn hat worn sideways between Captain Hook and Peter Pan characters and allowed him to be as cheeky, mischievous or serious as he wished.
It’s funny that Kevin didn’t imagine himself as the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up, but loosely as his eternal opponent, the pirate commander of the Jolly Roger, although without his famous crocodile phobia. Villains are often more dashing!