Today I had the pleasure of going to an art gallery to see an exhibition with a dear friend. Even though I am learning how to paint, it feels like I really don’t know all that much about art or even about going to art galleries for that matter.
This exhibition was entitled “Losing Jovie”… a mother’s paintings depicting the grief she experienced from giving birth to a beautiful daughter in 2011, to finding out shortly after her birth that she had a fatal syndrome called Trisomy 18. Sadly their daughter Jovie passed away on February 6, 2012.
The exhibition of huge paintings and other memories of her daughter including a beautiful video have been on display since February 6, 2013… a year to the date of losing her daughter. The exhibition ends in a few days. If you are in the area be sure to go and see it.
The picture of the painting above is the one that touched me the most. It reminded me of my great-niece that passed away at 7 weeks of age. She was a perfectly healthy baby, she died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). That is almost 7 years ago that we lost her.
I cannot begin to imagine losing a child and what it does to a family. In Renée’s mixed-media artwork she used many words in her paintings and many of them brought me back to a time with my niece when she lost her young baby and it also brought me back to a time when our son was diagnosed with autism at 3 years of age. His diagnosis was a time of intense grieving for me. Grieving for the son and the dreams I had for him and not really knowing what lie ahead for him or for us with this new autism world that we were thrown into. It took me a long time to get through those emotions and the grieving. I can only begin to imagine what Renée and her husband as well as my niece and her partner, what it must have been like for them to lose their young daughters. Her artwork showed the pain that she was feeling as a mother.
You can see an interview with Renée Lalande here showing her emotional filled artwork at the Gallery here on YouTube.
I am sharing other online articles about this family’s story of losing their daughter…
What I am learning about art and also by seeing an exhibition like this one today is that a lot of what we are dealing with comes out on canvas to help us with our healing. This exhibit left both my friend and I filled with emotions.