‘My Dying Father’ at Baltic

I am currently showing a sketchbook entitled My Dying Father (2019) at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle, UK. The show has been put back from 2020 due to the Covid-19 restrictions in force in the UK. It is currently installed but until galleries and museums reopen, on-line only.

3D virtual tour of exhibition

The sketchbook documents the final six months of my father’s life as he was cared for by my elderly mother. It is an exploration of familial relationships and a personal expression of loss. Toward the end he was bed-ridden and somewhat withdrawn. As conversation was difficult I drew and wrote in order to maintain a connection and as a response to a stressful and emotional situation. The sketchbook is one of an edition of ten. It is comprised of three drawings, three photographs, two poems and a short text. The arrangement of different art forms was inspired by the combination of word and image in Chinese art; the accordion format was chosen as a compromise between scroll and book. Chinese poems are often visual in nature and some forms have a set structure. In response, the poems I wrote here are lists of seemingly unrelated images, five syllables each:

Eighteen goldfinches

A tall man walking

Intermittent rain.

Early morning sounds

A glass of water

My dying father

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