Saturday, August 30, 2008

Working Out Grief in Art

Everyone, it seems, must find their own path in working through the grief of losing a loved one. We should never tell a grieving person that we know what they are going through because we can't know -each grief is unique. While it may be essential for one person to return to work right away, for another, taking a long respite may be the best path. The important thing is that we listen to ourselves and feel empowered to do what we feel we must do to work through our grief, and move forward toward acceptance and involvement in life. Artist Cathy Weber of Dillon, Montana found a way to work through what she describes as her own 'paralyzing grief' through her art work.
"In the fall of 1994, when I was 3 months pregnant (having had several earlier miscarriages), my partner of 12 years, Jack, was diagnosed with a soft tissue sarcoma of which he died nearly 2 years later in August of 1996. In the interim we endured the horrors of multiple surgeries and chemotherapeutic assaults and our son, Rio, was born.
In my own experience of paralyzing grief, it has occurred to me that humans love, die and experience profound heartache as a common element of our lives. Although the painful suffering of grief is a very personal and often private process few of us manage to escape it. With the pictures I am making now, I hope to translate my own grieving process into a series of images in which the viewers can recognize and honor themselves.
Upon Jack's death, I began to make notations and sketches for a series of pictures based on my feelings and emotional experiences. For the first 18 months I was unable to face them in my studio but notions continued to present themselves and I continued to take notes. The finished body of work is made up of 20 pieces. Three contain stitched images that I made during endless hours at hospital bedsides."
for the full text, and views of the entire series, visit the site

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