Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This Is All I Know



THIS IS ALL I KNOW
Digital scrapbook layout 12ins x 12ins

larger image here

Letter fragment reads: a...nurse...a German airman...you will appreciate...be impossible for us...husband and three...know nothing

BBC Radio 4 is hardly ever off when I'm in my studio and yesterday, whilst working on this page, I listened to Amanda Whittington's moving play Be My Baby, which combines the fictionalised accounts of young women forced to give up their babies for adoption, with testimony from real-life adoptees. The play is, in turn, both harrowing and uplifting as it weaves together the human acts of losing, seeking and finding. Tragically, not every search for a Birth Parent ends in joyful reunion. For some mothers, forgetting is the only way to cope with the pain of loss and many adoptees find themselves at the end of their quest to find their birth family with little more than the reawakening of a deep sense of abandonment.
The photograph and card used for this page are from a collection of family ephemera purchased for £2, over twenty years ago, at Kettering market in Northamptonshire. On the back of the photograph is written: to Grandma, love Cynthia, 1943. The inscription inside the card reads from Auntie May and Uncle Reg. How very sad to think of the lives of Cynthia, Auntie May, Uncle Reg and all the others, tossed into a Tesco's bag, dusty and anonymous, to be sold on a market stall for just two pounds when there are those who treasure far less: those who, if they are lucky, have just one or two crumbling scraps of paper as the only precious clues to their origins, souvenirs of family memories that never were.

17 comments:

Kimmie said...

Your insights into the human plight are so true and so beautifully wrought in words and in images. The anonimity of lives. It is a haunting theme. Thank you, as always, for sharing ....

Lori Saul said...

This is a very moving post - both through your eloquent artwork and writing. Collage art is a wonderful vehicle for re-telling stories through images!

Lawendula said...

Another one for goosebumps- amazingly sad, amanzingly beauty.
Thanks for sharing!

WildGoose said...

A very thoughtful and truly thought-provoking image. You have treated your very real subjects with respect, and because of your un-covering they are brought once again unto the forefront of their viewer's consciousness- a stranger to them,true, but an appreciative one. Thank you.

Poetic Artist said...

I love how you bring the story into the art..I suppose you can not have one with out the other.
Thanks for sharing.
Katelen

LW said...

As a mother of an adopted child, I feel this very deeply.
There has not been a day in the last 20 plus years that I have not said
Thank you…


A beautiful and heartrending piece of art…

Louise

Taluula said...

So thoughtful and eloquent Lumi and kudos to you for giving these people a second life.

indybev said...

On its own, the art is brooding and enigmatic. With the accompanying story, it's poignant and moving. Great marriage of sentiment and art, Lumi!

Sandy said...

Woooooooooooooow this is incredible. Brilliant design and work. Love them.

herminesplace said...

Its beautiful!

Martina2801 said...

Great artwork !

Alberta and Ava said...

As always your at went right to my heart. You have such a compassionate, beautiful soul, and your work always reaches me on such a visceral level. The textures and colors in this piece convey a sense of resignation and despair, appropriate for such loss.

lynne h said...

lumi, this piece is very moving... the expression on cynthia's face, juxtaposed with the card on the left... it just twists me inside. goes right to the heart of things. and yet the feather takes me to a place of hope... and this tape, i love this tape...

i feel all of this when i look at this piece, but i don't think i'm one to analyze others' art... but all of this just comes to me as i sit here gaze...

xo

Mary said...

Very deep, thoughtful, and moving image and post. One can't even imagine what this must have been like for so many of that era.

Ozstuff said...

Wonderful picture to illustrate your beautiful and moving piece. The picture speaks of the emptiness and heartbreak felt by the women in its bareness and pathos. Beautiful work, Lumi.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

This is wonderfully designed!

Kim said...

This is so beautiful, both in words and art. I think perhaps these pieces were meant for you to find and love through your art.