Wednesday Vignette – Loss of Material Evidence

This past weekend, on closing day, we visited an art show of a couple of dear friends. The show’s theme dealt with the emotional and existential hole presented when a parent leaves this world. The artist statement says it better than I ever can:


It was a beautiful show, expressing many, many memories going back generations in time, and SO much love. It was especially palpable and moving to us, as we knew the parents in question. I wish they could have been there to see it – how the kids turned their grief into beauty.





There was a fun surprise at the end of the show, highlighting one of the many aspects of departed family members that lives on after they’re gone; family recipes! In front of the large crowd that came out to enjoy the show, Mark made the apple pie his mother had taught him to make – which she had learned from her mother. IMG_0454

As fate would have it, the last day of the show also came with its own announcement of loss. This was the last show to be exhibited at the Hoffman Gallery at Lewis & Clark College. The administration has decided to close it and turn it into a student center, of sorts. The irony is immense… The last photo shows the director of the gallery, taking in one of the pieces, on the very last day of the last show of the venue she has nurtured for the past couple of decades. Its closure is a huge loss for the artist community, and especially for her. Our condolences on her – and our – loss.

Rumor has it that the exhibit will be traveling after this. If it comes to a city near you, go see it!

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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16 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – Loss of Material Evidence

  1. Thanks for sharing these photos. Thoughts of my parents and wondering how much time I have left with them are never far from my mind, especially this time of year. I am so thankful to be spending Christmas with them.

    • annamadeit says:

      That’s wonderful! I wish I was spending Christmas with my parents too, but alas not. We’ll be here, and they will be there – in whatever corner of the world they happen to be this year.

  2. Tina says:

    What a beautiful tribute–thank you for sharing. I’m sorry that the Gallery will no longer be utilized as such. All the photos are great, but my favorite is the one with the table of food with everyone standing around. Tells you something of my interests…:)

    • annamadeit says:

      It was, wasn’t it? Your interest in food is highly relevant in this context. Smell and taste (as in food) is such a strong cultural connection – those memories can truly transport you through time and place, and help you relive times gone by..

  3. Kris P says:

    What a wonderful idea! Becoming an adult “orphan” was a startling emotional experience for both my husband and me, even when we knew it was coming and thought we were prepared. The loss is always most fully felt at Christmas.

    • annamadeit says:

      I agree – I thought it was marvelous! I’m lucky enough to still have both parents left (and two step-parents, too). Granted, we live way too far away, so we don’t see them very often, but still… I can’t imagine being without them. I have heard from others too, that the Holidays are the worst – especially when the loss is recent. Ugh – not looking forward to being orphaned…

  4. mmwm says:

    “How the kids turned their grief into beauty” — yes, and grief itself is beautiful, too, I think. I’ll be back with a link to my WV when I finally get to it tonight. Thanks for your posting and for hosting.

  5. Pingback: Wednesday Vignette: Fabergé dandelion – A Moveable Garden

  6. What a wonderful response to the situation that all of us will share sooner or later. My husband and I just signed our wills yesterday so we are certainly thinking of our “stuff” and the line we are in. Once of the most lovely obits I ever saw included the mother’s recipe for Sunday dinner which she was famous for. Her door was always open to friends, neighbors and anyone who needed a good meal.

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, that IS a wonderful thing to include in an obit… And good for you for preparing a will. Amidst all the sadness and confusion of the inevitable, that will create some much needed structure, I’m sure. Have you heard of the Swedish concept of death cleaning? Sounds weird, but is actually quite the selfless act;

  7. Peter Herpst says:

    A very special exhibit and especially poignant that it’s the last show for the Hoffman Gallery.

  8. Sad about the gallery. Students need a place, but is this the only way they can have it?

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