Back in March 2020, just before the whole world experienced Covid 19 lockdowns, I had to have emergency surgery on my cervical spine to stop me from becoming paralyzed from the neck down. I was in total shock from being told I would become paralyzed if I didn’t have surgery, and I wasn’t functioning well emotionally or physically. Three years before this operation I had separated from my children,s father, it was painful, shocking, and very scary. Not knowing how I was going to cope financially and wanting to protect both my sons from the vile atmosphere of the divorce was exhausting but remained my main objective for a long time. I created a wonderful home for both my boys to live with me half the time, but my oldest son had other ideas and left to live with his Dad, I still haven’t seen him to this day. Three days before my surgery on 1st March my youngest son asked to live with his Dad but he said he would stay with me every other weekend. Ever since my first son was placed in my arms, everything I had done had been for him and then when my second son came along it had all been for them, their happiness and security was the most important thing in my life but this came at the cost, the cost was putting my needs in a suitcase under the stairs and that included staying in a relationship that was very unhappy for a very long time. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from my son, but I was in shock from my health news and I thought if I focus on getting better they will come back. I knew what was ahead but couldn’t let myself think about it. Skip forward to May 2020 and my forecast was correct, my son became very distant and started exhibiting a splitting, something that alienated parents experience with their children more often than is talked about. My son was refusing to come and see me at all, the blame was put on Covid 19.
The operation was a success but as I have started to realise throughout my life, everything has its price and the price I was paying for not being paralyzed was being given the most horrific electric shocks and spasms that would rip throughout my body for hours at a time. I decided I was going to sketch, dance, and sing my way through them because these activities release my happy chemicals.
This sketch was done whilst having one of my spinal spasms.
Whilst the spasms were taking place I wasn’t able to make conscious decisions about what I was putting on the paper, so this defiantly came from a part of my subconscious mind, that suitcase under the stairs that I mentioned in the first part of post.
When I revisited the sketch its clear that the three fish are my sons and my ex leading them away. I’m speaking my truth and they move further away. Their eyes are closed because they cannot see what’s happening. The cage in my neck is what I have had fitted and I feel like I am just my neck and spine, I am not feeling anything else other than the electric lines you see in the sketch. I am interested in the childish manner that I used to sketch this in and I feel like my inner child was at work with this one, as this is not at all my regular style. This sketch has been on my mind for about six months, and if your asking? no, I still haven,t seen either of my sons. I have been dangled carrots by my ex with promises of professional input with help in building a relationship back up with my youngest son, only to be ripped away when I had done what my ex wanted, his objective achieved and no need for me the mother of his children anymore, that last statement his thoughts and actions, not mine.
It’s now November, Wales have just come out of their second lockdown period, and I am the proud owner of an amazing studio space in the Centre of Cardiff. After having a major life shock and realizing we’re not here as a dress rehearsal I am now doing what I love every day, or at least when my body allows me to. I am revisiting the sketch I have now called Leaving the Reborn. I prepped a large canvas 1m x 1.5m because I want the painting to be overpowering and make the viewer feel small in comparison. As I began to put paint and color onto the canvas I am aware that there are purposeful decisions being made, such as wanted to paint the woman as a flat image and encase her in black
To be update: 10th November 2020 days of the pandemic.