Thoughts on Memorial Art Making

By May 19, 2011Uncategorized

Following the invitation by the community curator of a local gallery, Greenly Art Space, I intended to tend gently to the people who gathered to make memorial art pieces of their loved ones this Memorial weekend, 2011.

Since everyone was so independent and deeply thoughtful in this endeavor, I felt there was no need for my interventions. I then decided to make an art piece of my own to take advantage of this open studio experience. There was an unmistakable energy of love and caring in the space shared in silence except the soft sound of brushes, pencil marks being made and shears cutting into fabrics or folding of papers ever so tenderly, lovingly, with sorrows and/or with dedications. What a confirmation it was for me to re-experience the power Art Making – I proceeded to make something to honor my beloved grandmother (a relatively safe subject) and ended up by remembering my father, more emotionally laden subject. Perhaps it was a divine intervention (by my grandmother now my guardian angel) that worked its way to my heart. The old familiar feeling of longing came back and I shared my genuine feelings about him with other participants when we were all done.  My father, to his detriment, was somewhat of an enigma. I suspect that he could not truly appreciate his own uniqueness. He loved Koi fish, however, unconditionally; his husbandry of Koi was judicious and impeccable. It’s one of the great reminders of what dedicating person he was to those he loved…so I drew in pastel the pair of Koi fish, in a dance of life, in its yin-and-yang formation, and attached a poem to go with it later as it reflected my feeling about my relationship with this man.

“Life’s journey
is circular, it appears.
The years
don’t carry us away
from our fathers ~ they
return us to them.”

~Michel Marriott