Trigger Warning: This blog post makes mention of stillbirth / baby loss.
The next Documented Life Project prompt I tackled was all about photographs and memories. The accompanying phrase prompt, however, was distinctly sombre: “All that I have to remember you”. I immediately felt inspired, maybe even compelled, to create an art journal page that functioned as a sort of visual memorial to a dead loved one. I wanted to resist the impulse as I try to not make my art journal too personal and I certainly aim to avoid such personal subjects. Then I thought I should challenge myself and take a chance on handling an emotive topic. Gulp.
Sadly, I had lots of loved ones I could have chosen as the subject of my page. However, it is that time of year when I begin to brace myself for the anniversary of the birth of our stillborn son and when I really have to consciously wrestle with my grief welling up inside me again. If I was going to feel exposed creating such a personal art journal page then I thought I might as well go with my impulse to tackle an aspect of my life that makes me feel emotionally vulnerable. Gulp.
I think the page is self-explanatory and the materials used obvious. The focal element is provided by the tags. One of them contains simple stamped words. The other two have my baby son’s hand- and footprints, each little digit not much bigger than the buttons I attached to the tags.
Probably for obvious reasons, I spent longer pulling together this art journal page than I usually do. I would like to report that it was a cathartic, healing experience but honestly I am not sure it helped at all. I think I am glad that I attempted a more emotionally involved page but I don’t think I shall repeat the exercise.