The past is a curious thing, we like believe that we have no connection with it, we weren't there, and it wasn't our doing. But It has shaped us, it`s in the marrow of our bones and will continue to be even when we ourselves are long since gone.
We each leave behind powerful echoes of ourselves in the stories that we weave throughout our lives. The same is true for all of the women, men, girls and boys that have gone before. The stories within these pieces echo heartache, pain, unimaginable desolation and loss but also a beautiful resilience, a determination to be acknowledged, to have their stories heard, to be seen.
“The tragedy of strength that has been abandoned, betrayed even. The desolation, the sense of loss and corruption (in the original meaning of the word), and the overbearing loneliness. The contradiction of strength seen in the external stone work, against the internal evisceration that has left a fragile husk of rotten memories, so delicate that they may reduce to a formless powder before our very eyes. The experienced abandonment and betrayal, or just prolonged loneliness, the difference being that humans can repair and rebuild their lives”.
We will each experience those stories from a very unique place, our own lived experience - our own story and we will respond in our own unique way.
My response has been one of anger, a sense of injustice, pain for the suffering endured and an absolute horror at the realization that there was no one to save them... Nobody came to save them!
But I also experienced the terrible beauty contained within all of this suffering. The strength of the human spirit in the face of all that was wrong, choosing to see the chinks of light. Choosing a life of kindness, love and hope despite the bleakness of their stories. Choosing to see love and kindness in a very meager gift — An orange on her pillow.
For Rosaleen x.
A launch reception took place on Sunday 4th June 2017 at 2:30pm in Straffan Antiques & Design Centre, Barberstown, Straffan, Co. Kildare.
The Exhibition was open to the public from Tuesday 30th May until Saturday 18th June 2017.