Leah's Gift

Exhibition 1996

Sunrise Galleries, Jasper, Alberta, Canada

 

In Leah’s Gift, which honored Leah’s life (December 1, 1993 – June 12, 1995) and memory, the mysterious dance between the past and present is proposed. Our earthly existence is shrouded in this mystery. Ultimately, it is not ours to know but to live – to live in the fullest in the moment – in faith, in hope, in love.

‘My earliest memories of a love of water are lucid. As a child it was the call of water that drew me to play and swim for endless hours in nearby lakes and rivers. In my adolescence and as an adult, wherever I lived I would find my way to the water. One of the first large paintings I made in art school in 1985 was a picture of a joyful young child dancing on the shoreline in shallow water. There was an unnerving edge to this painting – an ominous fiery shape pierced the darkened sky and pointed towards the unsuspecting toddler. I entitled this mysterious painting, Electrogenesis. In 1987 I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art Honours degree and over the next eight years there was little time for painting while I was raising three young children and managing a cabin resort with my husband in the Rocky Mountains in Jasper National Park, Canada.

It was in 1995 that I was able to fully comprehend the painting, Electrogenesis’ relationship to my life when my one and a half year old daughter, Leah, who actually looked like the child in the painting, drowned in a river on a spring evening. There were, in fact, five other premonitory paintings that I had made prior to Leah’s birth that referenced water, a toddler, a nursing mother and the physical location of her death. In commemoration of Leah, on the first anniversary of her passing, I presented an exhibition entitled, Leah’s Gift, which featured the eight portent artworks and four new pieces I painted during that ensuing year.’
(Excerpt from MFA exegesis painted pools: a lens into subjectivity)