I do not have many memories of my Grandfather. He was not the most warm and friendly man. The memory that stuck with me most is when I saw him for the last time. He was at his house, in a dark room, dying of cancer. I was in grade 3.
I remember being scared to go in and not being able to see much since the room was so dark. My mom had told me it was important to go in and see him this time and say goodbye. Even as a child I could sense that he was close to dying. Minimal words were exchanged and I think he briefly touched my hand but as I left the room I knew it would be the last time I saw him, and it was. He died shortly afterwards.
I got to know death well as a child...I lost my older brother 3 years later. When I explore my childhood death is often explored in my images.
For this painting I remember working quickly and was not aware of what I was going to create. I painted with my fingers and allowed the mess to happen. My grandfather and I emerged in the image and I allowed myself to revisit this moment in my life. I let myself feel those emotions again and witness them now as an adult. This image encouraged me to reconnect with my inner child and it gave her the space to express herself in a way that she hadn't before. Painting with my fingers allowed me to tap into her since I could not get too caught up in my head about the finished product since I had little control over the paint.
My inner child wanted to be acknowledged...she had a lot to say and I continued to give her the space to do so in other pieces I did later on that allowed me to further explore death and the loss of my brother.