The Vanishing (Ongoing)
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My sister passed away in March of 2023. She had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer 4 months after our mother’s passing. The profound period of time between diagnosis and dying was a summation of all things it is to be human; fear, hope, anger, disbelief, regret, love, loss and grief. We struggled together, she and I, caught in this period of time between our history and our unknown future. I could never have imagined the enormity of grief that has engulfed me.
The pieces in The Vanishing are photo-assemblage, either two or three dimensional. They have arisen directly out of my sorrow. They speak to my relationship with my sister. The ripping, tearing and new juxtapositions of these collages are expressive of the most intimate moments of my life, my sister’s life and of our relationship. Accompanying someone you love on their last journey, to the flatline on the monitor and beyond, is difficult, and much like the process in making the artwork in this series, it disrupts, destroys and rebuilds the internal landscape, all the time hoping for resolution. The artwork in this series seeks its meaning from symbol, metaphor and materials, and the ways in which they are juxtaposed, overlapped, ripped away or modified. Sometimes this process is conscious, and sometimes it reveals itself through the ongoing work. The unfolding of each piece has been one of repeated creation and destruction which does not cease until resolution occurs.
The images reflect my personal experience and perhaps approach a universal experience as well. This artmaking requires trust, as does the grieving process, and both require remaining engaged despite any assurance that I will land in a place of clarity in both my internal world and in the external work. I have resisted both the art process and the grieving at times, not wanting to acknowledge and reflect upon the frustration, the difficulty and the anger. Despite this, in both the series, The Vanishing, and in life, I have worked to create a wholeness and a new configuration that holds my thoughts, feelings and beliefs. In both cases, it is a map for moving forward.
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