Today I arrived at the showing at the cafe and was taken by the blank spaces.
There was this mix of emotions, both happy and sad.
The cafe was busy and had to wait for people to finish their time there before I could move in and hang new works. So, I had time to take it in. My kids were with and had been playing outside with my husband. My son, Drew, came in and said "Mom are you sad?" It must have been written all over my face and I didn't even know it (which I think happens alot with me).
I did feel a sadness. I had hoped to arrive and meet the seller in person. But she had come earlier than expected and taken all the pieces. All 8 of them! But my sadness was really about saying good-bye to the works because they were such a piece of me. I had hoped to look at them one last time. And since I didn't have that opportunity I sat and thought about each of the pieces. When I had encountered each child in those images in Swaziland. How each had made me feel. How as I looked at my photographs and felt so inspired, how each painting had emerged so effortlessly.
With someone having just purchased so many from one series of works....now 8 paintings...it had me feeling so curious about her as well. I mean who does that? Buys 8 pieces at once? I wondered what her connection to the works were. Since the series is socially conscious, and focused on the pandemic of HIV/AIDS in Swaziland (33% of the population) I wondered.
Is she in medicine/research. Perhaps looking for a cure? Or has HIV/AIDS impacted her life directly?
I also thought she may have a direct connection to Africa. Is she from Africa, Swaziland, South Africa(very close to Swaziland).
Could she have known or admired Elizabeth Glaser (who created the foundation to fight pediatric AIDS)?
Well, I am so grateful to be able to have an answer.....she shared that she is a Lutheran pastor that was just on sabbatical. She had come into the cafe and the works kept grabbing her attention. Eventually, she went to each piece and read the stories that accompany each piece. She discussed the works with a friend, went home and needed to go back.
It seems the works connected to her soul and the mission of her sabbatical.
In her words....
"The nature of my sabbatical was to explore how God is on the loose among us based on the gospel of the incarnation at the beginning of John. Gifted by the Lilly Foundation with an amazing grant, my objectives were: 1.) to collect stories; 2.) to explore the unfamiliar; 3.) to welcome what is; and 4.) to practice living well."
Isn't that an amazing journey to be able to take? And that she came across my series of works, felt moved by them and wanted to use them to express the objectives of her sabbatical? Well, it is incredibly moving to me. I am honored. And so very grateful that our paths crossed in this way, in this life.
The sadness of saying good-bye to those works has passed.
I am left with such incredible gratitude.