The exhibition "A GRACEFUL DEATH" by Antonia Rolls.
A Graceful Death started with painting the last few weeks, days and day of the life of my partner as he gracefully left this life. It has grown to include paintings of others at the most important part of their lives, as they near the end, and of those who are left behind.
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Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Strawberry Fairy, Bathtime Angel And More - Fund Raising Sale This Weekend In Wimbledon
I aim to have this sale of Angels and Fairies and fun things while also displaying the latest information about the A Graceful Death exhibition and film. The weekend is about having fun with all of you, with colour, fun, wit and humour, alongside the serious business of raising funds for the A Graceful Death exhibition and film.
Making a film of the effect an exhibition of paintings of death and the end of life (A Graceful Death, paintings from the end of life) has on those who are involved in the works, and those who come to experience them at exhibitions. Showing how the exhibition is created and broadcast, and hearing what those who love it say, and those who don't love it, say. And very significantly, showing how it feels to paint a sitter as they approach the end of their life, or as they face an uncertain future. A section of the exhibition shows Survivors too, those who have come through illness, or the bereavement process, and are living again.
Click on the link below to see our video and to hear more and to donate to this important work.
It will be great fun this weekend. I will be at my dear friend Clarissa's lovely Wimbledon home, where the second showing of the A Graceful Death exhibition was held last year. We are very much looking forward to seeing you all, and there will be many Angels and Fairies for you to choose from. And if you don't see what you want, or if you have a fab idea for a painting, tell me and I will paint it and send it to you.
The A Graceful Death project, by which I mean the exhibition and the film, is being considered by St James's Church, Piccadilly. I am going to meet the Rector this Thursday to talk it over. This would be excellent. St James's is an inspiring church, it seems to want absolutely everyone to be welcome and to take part in its life. There is a daily market outside its doors too, which I like. A Graceful Death, I feel, would be at home at this church. I have not met the Rector, but I have seen her! She spoke at my dear friend Nicola Slee's book launch held at the church last month, and I am looking forward to meeting her properly.
I have sent off, finally, an application to the Arts Council for funding for a year. This would help me to make the paintings and to research how to make the exhibition grow and be seen. I am investigating two more possible venues, one in Manchester again and one in Yorkshire. Once I have finished all the administration for the exhibition and the project, I will be delighted to paint for the next exhibition again, and will be painting Nushi Khan-Levy and I hope, another person too. I would like to speak to my new contact on the very important subject of suicide. We still have to work our what paintings would be best for his particular story. And I would like to speak to another possible contact, who is probably a bit too ill to speak to me at the moment.
At some point, I would like to talk about bereavement. I would like to explore the stories of those who have to go on with life, whether they like it or not. How I behaved during my bereavement used to worry me, it seemed very odd. I wondered if I was a bit strange. But talking to other bereaved people has made me see that it is possible to be totally bonkers, while still being you, and what we do and how we get through our grief, is a very important life lesson and should be discussed so that those going through it don't worry that they are losing their minds. I did not lose my mind, but I tipped over into quite out of character behaviour. Looking back on it, I am glad that I did, it was a way of making real the dreadfulness of being without Steve. Not because he went off into the sunset with someone else, but that he died. I saw him, I held him, I could not mistake it, he died and that was absolutely that.
Bereavement is a very important part of the end of life and I will explore this for the next exhibition in Birmingham in November.
In the meantime - come to the Weekend Sale. I am having a raffle on Sunday evening, and the prizes are as follows -
1. A beautiful framed print of Jesus on the Tube. Jesus on the Tube is the best known and most popular of my paintings and has a whole website dedicated to it. Even the Archbishop of Canturbury has his own personalised Jesus on the Tube. www.jesusonthetube.co.uk for more information. Photographed by Eileen Rafferty, a superb photographer and print maker
2. A framed oil painting of cyclamen in a spotty bowl. I painted this for the sheer love of it, I love plants and flowers and when I have time, I love to paint them. About 17" x 30".
3. An Angel or Fairy of your choice - I will paint it and send it to you in the post.
4. A custom made pair of earrings, you choose the beads and I will make them up for you.
This weekend of Earrings, Angels, Fairies and Cakes is of course, in aid of raising funds and awareness of the A Graceful Death exhibition and film. There will be opportunites to donate to this very important project, and I will be happy to talk with you about what it all means, what I am doing and where it is all going. And in the meantime, come - buy Fairies, buy Angels, buy Earrings and buy the yummiest cakes to have with your cups of tea (or wine if it all gets too much).