Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sketchbook Assignment 3 - Characters Drawn from Life (and Death).

Dead on Arrival
X (Nee Z) Y 06.01.1957 - 09.03.2014 Cherished mother and friend taken from us too soon. We will miss our adventures together and we’ll hold you in our hearts forever. Your loving memory remains with us, always, A and B

I chose the above death notice for this project for the following reasons:
1. The deceased is a female, and I wanted to depict a female for this sketchbook assignment
2. The death occurred only a few days ago, which makes it contemporary. It will enable me better to imagine the time and place inhabited by the character.
3. The deceased was still relatively young - 57 years - only two years older than I am. I could therefore relate better to the character.

Constructing the character. 
A woman, middle-aged, in what should have been some of her best years. A mother. But also described as a friend by the two signees. I imagine for her the following life: She grew up in the Karoo, an arid yet beautiful region of my country. At 15 she was "discovered" and taken to New York to model in the early 1970's. She stayed there for three years, and then suddenly, she was back. Something had happened in New York which had changed her forever, she said, but never disclosed to her family, or later her children, what this was. Back in South Africa she studied nursing. Soon afterwards she met and married a doctor, P, who was 30 years her senior. By all accounts they had a very happy and fulfilling marriage and family life. P died in Decelmber 2013, aged 88. On Sunday 9 March X was found in her home by a friend. She seemed to be in a coma. She was rushed to hospital but was announced dead on arrival. The police reported that no foul play was suspected, and that there was no evidence of suicide. Perhaps she simply died of a broken heart.

Dead on Arrival, 2014. (collage with photocopied magazine photo and found objects. altered with black and white pens, own drawing of heart, gauze, thread.),

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