The A Graceful Death Exhibition and Project by Antonia Rolls is about what it means to die. Portraits, paintings and words from the end of life. Powerful, moving, loving, uplifting, inspiring. The A Graceful Death Project includes talks, presentations, discussions, events connected to awareness raising of end of life issues. The latest news, exhibitions, events and developments will be available here.
Making a film of the effect an exhibition of paintings of death and the end of life (A Graceful Death, paintings from the end of life) has on those who are involved in the works, and those who come to experience them at exhibitions. Showing how the exhibition is created and broadcast, and hearing what those who love it say, and those who don't love it, say. And very significantly, showing how it feels to paint a sitter as they approach the end of their life, or as they face an uncertain future. A section of the exhibition shows Survivors too, those who have come through illness, or the bereavement process, and are living again.
Click on the link below to see our video and to hear more and to donate to this important work.
I have been sending out information on the above project to everyone that I can think of. It has been hard work to process everything into a small-ish format so that it can be read easily both by email and by post. So far, we have been pledged a very good amount and are grateful. There is not so much to report on the film, as I am only just beginning the fund raising appeal and am awaiting responses. Neill Blume, my colleague who is making the film, and I, have already started work on filming, and will be making another filming journey out very soon as I am visiting a very brave lady who will be painted for the next time A Graceful Death is shown. This lady is recovering from cancer and she and I need to speak first so that I know what it is that she wants from the painting, and I can do the best painting possible.
This morning I spoke to the local newspaper about what I am doing, and about the film project. The journalist that I spoke with has covered A Graceful Death before, and is aware of what it is all about. He writes very sensitively, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it. I am doing all the fund raising and the awareness raising in between having other painting commitments, so every little bit helps. If my local paper comes on board, then I am in a better position to fund raise.
I expect everyone who starts a major project finds that it can take over their lives! I could, if I had no children and no home and no other work to do, spend all day every day doing this exhibition. I love how it is growing, I love how it seems to be working and most of all, I love the responses of the people who come and see it when it is set up. I don't like the feeling that I never do enough for it though. It can be hard to see the wood for the trees. There are a few more very interesting paintings to paint, and some more people I need to contact with a view to painting them. I am remembering people from past exhibitions and realising that they would be excellent subjects for the Survivors that I want to paint. Oh if only time and money were no object. There is a wondeful lady I wish I could visit that I met when A Graceful Death went to Dublin. I would love to travel over to meet her again and to ask to paint her. She was a truly remarkable survivor. And what an artist she is too. I will work on that one though.
I phoned the Spectator and St James in Piccadilly in the last few days and both extremely helpful ladies I spoke to listened to what I was doing, and both said it was timely as they had both lost someone important only very recently. You see, it is such a human experience, loss and bereavement. I meet this everywhere I go. How amazing that death unites is all. I hope to make some new contacts, regarding the Spectator and St James in Piccadilly. It is time to show the A Graceful Death in London again. And, talking with the journalist this morning, he suggested it was time to try to show the exhibition in Chichester once more. I agree and will now look for somewhere to put on A Graceful Death there. You may remember, that when I first tried to show A Graceful Death in Chichester for its first time in 2009, there was such an objection to it that everyone pulled out just before it was to be shown. I think it is time to try in Chichester again. The exhibition has proved itself to be sensitive, controversial and uplifting.
Next week is going to be given over entirely to painting again. I have other commission work to do, and will prepare the wood and the space for the next A Graceful Death paintings, which will be taking shape by the end of this month.
Please visit our page on We Fund, and please donate whatever you can for our film project. Every pound helps. Every amount helps. We don't expect you to give us tens, hundreds or thousands (though should you wish to, we say Oh go on then...), whatever you can afford is helpful for us. Thank you, another update soon.