#542 theoldmortuary ponders

Timehop on Facebook is an interesting feature. Just as nature has seasons, so do artists. My time hop over the last few weeks shows photos and comments about me getting ready for exhibitions over many years in March and April. I will happily admit that the exhibition title for the exhibition above was not the jolliest but look at the address! Isn’t Old Paradise Yard the perfect place to address death and transition. It was an exhibition that really made people talk. I showed two paintings, at the time I was working in a world of actual death and transition, a Cardiac Catheter Lab. Thankfully the transitions there are usually in the happiest direction from challenging health predicaments transforming to greater health stability. But sometimes a different direction is taken. Either way there is frantic, sometimes ferocious activity followed by calm and peace.

Both my pictures sold, I have no recollection of one but a small part of the other was on a poster. In my memory the paintings have become secondary to the absolutely great conversations that were had about death and our human relationship with it. Just lovely informal natterings during the Private View and the first early days of the exhibition. People from all over the world and with many different life experiences exchanging thoughts and observations. It was all going rather well until a therapist ( of what variety I have no idea) who was a friend of one of the artists decided this was far too big a subject to be left to amateurs and took it upon herself to be there for the last few days of invigilating, or stewarding the exhibition. I don’t know if her presence ever made a positive impact on the informal discussions on the days I wasn’t there. But on the afternoon I shared with her, the conversation did not take organic twists and turns in the exciting and meaningful way I had experienced earlier in the exhibition.

Her obvious experience and authority on the subject were like someone pouring bleach on the conversations. All the colour and warmth of shared or unique opinions seemed to be lost. I know her offer of being in attendance came from a good place. She was concerned that the conversations could lead to some dark places that she could help and support with, but her presence somehow restricted the flow. Certainly no one got into a dark place but conversely there was no joy in the gallery either and no stimulating conversation to reflect on at the close of the day.

People can be trusted to get there on their own.

4 thoughts on “#542 theoldmortuary ponders

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