Wednesday 23 September 2009

No Painting Today. Office Day

I have done the full size portrait of Steve and it looks good. I have put the words I removed from the large portrait of Steve in blue pyjamas just before he died, back. At the time I thought they were too much and they are. They are very sad indeed, they were too much for me at the time. So I removed them and kept them on a sheet of paper until it was safe to put them back.

Today I am putting out the press release and contacting people about the exhibition. I have two very separate functions with this exhibition. The office part is intellectual, it is about Organising and Doing. It isn't too hard to do, though I have to make myself do it. I always fear I won't be taken seriously and that the strength of my work and intentions will be either dismissed or misunderstood. But the painting side. I have to allow myself to take the day off from all other things and go and Just Do It. This exhibition means that I have to try to make clear something that is hard (painting) loss (emotional) a little bit uncomfortable (death) and utterly incomprehensible (end of life). I have to make clear something that is not and never will be clear. A paradox. So I have to explore it perhaps, to make sense of it in the only way I can, through painting. At the same time I am aware that it bonds and links so many of us. The experience of loss. This is how I can work it out, touch other people, and be touched by them. It is turning out to be life affirming, a huge statement on how Life Will Go On, this exhibition. No matter how bad I feel or have felt, in order to paint anything at all means time has passed and the experience is being made visible. Some kind of healing is taking place. The few that have seen the paintings say Ah. Yes. That happened to me. I knew someone who died. And human contact has been made, an important bond that affirms us as Still Alive, as Here and Connecting.

This is the prayer I wrote the day he died. I didn't like it at the time but now it is OK.

You are not my king I am not your daughter
You are not my father you are not my saviour
Not my redeemer not my lamb,
Not a person not a man,
You are not a Thee or Thou you didn't come to earth to save me and Steve
You are not my parent I am not an idiot
I don't have to be nice to you.
I don't have to obey you I can't hear you speaking
I can't listen because
You don't say anything

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