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- Statement from exhibition catalogue:
Bone Scan, 2005
Pencil, charcoal, and wax on paper
111” x 91” (282cm x 232cm)
Last spring I began using the thin medical paper that is made for covering examining tables in the doctor’s office, for a series of drawings and scroll pieces. The decision to use this paper was initially based on the physical quality of the paper – its seemingly delicate and vulnerable surface that in the end proved to have a surprising resilience. I liked that it was in a roll and I could pull it into longer than body-size pieces. Two months after starting to work with these sheets we learned that my father had a brain tumor which was a metastasized tumor from lung cancer. During this time, I accompanied my father to some of his many doctor’s visits and the paper took on the added significance of his illness and 3 months later, his death.
The 4-sectioned drawing I am exhibiting here is based on a bone scan of my father. The text pages are a letter written to my father after his death, as I was working and trying to continue to feel his presence, deal with his very rapid death, and understand the ongoing conflicts that often accompany loss.
As an artist, the image of my father’s bone scan carries a different set of information than it would for a physician or anyone in the sciences. I see it as a portrait of my father, his last life-size portrait. It is both clinical and personal, even overly revealing. Though in life, he was strong-willed, even stubborn, here I became aware of his vulnerability, his desire to cooperate, the part of his nature that was trusting, that believed medical science could intervene on his behalf. I see him in limbo, floating and fading.
As in much of my work, these drawings are a continuation of my ongoing interest in the interfacing of events from the outer world and how they affect us on our most personal levels. As in other works, I am using passages of text juxtaposed with simple forms that reference an attempt at charting or organizing things that remain outside of our control.All images copyright of Anne Gilman 1990-2018. An icompendium Site