Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Monument and Memorial

In  my Advanced Art Seminar class we were asked to consider the idea of the monument and if we were to make a monument for whom and what kind of form would it take. 

My brother Ralph, died at the age of 59 years from having Multiple Sclerosis in 2002. He was my big brother as we were 10 years apart in our ages. Doing a monument to honour him would  be for me expressed through painting, which I intend to complete between 2011 -2012.

Considering the subject matter, there are three photographs I have of him, one alone and two others of us both together. The first photo is of him at 15 years of age in 1958, just before he got sick, holding a battery operated model airplane he'd put together. He is holding it very proudly and standing out front of our house, in Toronto, on Boultbee Avenue. He was wearing a striped t-shirt, blue jeans with Converse running shoes. He has a full head of black curls. He looked very happy.

The other photographs are of Ralph and I in Niagara Falls on a family trip. I am sitting on his lap with my orange crush pop, which was always my favourite. I couldn't have been any older than 2 years old, and he would be 12 years of age.

I completed an egg tempera a portrait painting last year, of my mother and father when they were very young and courting, as a kind of memorial monument to them and I have wanted to do another painting, honoring my brother Ralph. I had also painted a portrait of my late husband Bill. This kind of exercise is very healing and being an artist often enables you to provide yourself the opportunity to work through our personal pain and the struggles along the road of life.


Indigene said...

Beautiful photos and painting!

I did a memorial of my sister during the summer, it was the most healing thing I could do for myself. It felt like I was touching every pore of her face and it warmed my heart. I hope it is for you, too!

It is a wonderful thing, this being an artist.

Unknown said...

Thank you Indigene for your kind comments.
Before I did the painting of my mother and father I thought it would be too painful but it was the exact opposite. I had a similar experience like yours. When I look at it now it warms my heart like healing balm.

I certainly is a wonderful thing being an artist! I don't know what I'd do;I'd be very unhappy I'm afraid.