With the help of drawings, pamphlets, historic findings and music and video installations, Mills tries to examine how the individual interacts within the larger historic context. Where does the interface lie between history and personal feelings and decisions? Do the two have a mutual effect on one another? In his works, Mills not only deals with his own youth with particular focus on 1971 and 1978, but also with the youth of his audience by exploring the present.Lesley Milne was Christopher Milne's wife [and cousin], and I believe the quote, "As an adult, 'Communication with his father had deteriorated, and they met seldom.'" is from her foreword to Milne's 1998, Beyond the World of Pooh: Selections from the Memoirs of Christopher Milne.
Thanks to Mills the individual existence of Christopher Milne as distinct from Christopher Robin suddenly sprang into my head. But his chosen quote doesn't capture the half of Milne's experience as the involuntarily famous fictional subject of his father's work.
Pooh-Corner.org has a bio of Christopher Milne which includes extensive quotes from his various memoirs. It's pretty sobering stuff, and a unique kind of suffering, at least in the days before every kid had his every move blogged and youtubed and twitflickr'd. A quote mentioned in his 1996 obituary blows my dadblogging mind:
"It seemed to me almost that my father had got to where he was by climbing upon my infant shoulders, that he had filched from me my good name and had left me with the empty fame of being his son."Reading even snippets of Christopher's hurt, defensive struggle to live his own life, I don't get the sense that A.A. Milne particularly worried about the impact of his own career on his son or even noticed.