Exhibition - 'Phases of Eve'
'Phases of Eve', is group of drawings running in three themes, 'Bonzo', 'Pre-Natal' and 'Resilient Women'.
Bonzo the clown is depicted in deliberately artificial poses and intentionally juxtaposed against the 'Pre-Natal' images that are earthy and primal; and against the realistic portraits of the 'Resilient Women'.
Resilient people are everywhere. This body of work represents but a handful of them and here I have limited myself to just speaking of and for women. With my models' permission, I quote their personal words and add a few lines to give hint to the kinds of persons they are.
Sue's meditation –
"Let me dwell in my heart
Let me be free of suffering
Let me be whole
Let me go in peace"
Sue was a physician who gave much to improving women's healthcare in British Columbia. Hers was the first of the nine portraits to be completed. Sadly Sue died shortly after.
Ada – "Against all odds, I never gave up hope."
Ada's eldest son Kevin was born with Trisomy 18 Syndrome. Now in his twenties, he has developed and matured beyond all expectations through the unconditional love and perseverance of his mother and father.
May – "Even though western culture equates femininity with breasts, losing a breast or both through double mastectomy, would not take away one's essence of being female."
May is a professor of speech language pathology at UBC and perhaps the one person most responsible for teaching language and communication skills to Kevin. She retained her quirky sense of humour even as she battled with cancer and got a real kick by dyeing her hair in fuchsia magenta!
Dianne – "Somehow I have never chosen the easier path... it has been challenging, being a racially mixed family, but we have grown deeper as people."
Dianne, a blond English woman married to a black Trinidadian man, they have weathered a fair measure of racial discrimination in most of the places they have lived.
Lee Fui – "This was a long learning curve, very humbling. Caused me to see things through the eyes of those who are suffering. Good came out of a bad situation, by the grace of God."
Lee Fui patiently cared for her daughter, who suffered from multiple-sclerosis, at home for more than twenty years.
Deidre – "That day came when I felt the conviction to turn things around from just milking the world. I determined to give back to those who could benefit from my skills."
Dee has been working with intellectually challenged adults, helping them to produce remarkable works of art in ceramics and painting, many of them have earned a sense of pride in themselves.
Eva – "Life is for the living. I live fully to that statement and the small pleasures I give to others give me the greatest pleasures."
Eva has achieved outstanding success in the world of commerce traditionally dominated by men. She has retained her graciousness and kindness especially towards the 'little people'.
Stella – "Life goes on...and I'm going to wear my heels. Oh yeah! I love my heels."
Trained as a dentist in the Philippines, Stella represents a population of highly educated new immigrants who must re-invent themselves due to the fact their qualifications are not accepted in Canada.
Colleen – "The gift of cancer was an acute awareness of my own mortality... told by experts to have only six months to live... suddenly everything was seen through a new lens. The most important insight was that God was at the centre."
Colleen is a cancer survivor, a keen artist and writer, one of my most resilient multi-talented friend.
It is my privilege to have known these fantastic people.
2011, Vancouver, Canada