Charcoal on 220gsm Dessin // A3
Recently I spent some time in my home city of Adelaide, South Australia, visiting family and friends. The time I spent with family was simple and special. The sensory experience of steam rising from meat and three-veg love-cooked dinners, heirloom table-clothes, special-occasion cutlery and metronome meal-time conversations played out like the liturgy of a traditional Catholic mass. In some ways returning to this little domestic ritual encompasses well the visit home, returning to that microcosm whence-we-came, that source of self-identity that no matter how far you travel or how many new Facebook friends you have, will (for many) always constitute the fundamental-fabric of one's existence. It is a real loss that many in the modern family of internet and individuality miss out on this primary experience, rather opting for facing-away (toward a screen) than facing-toward each other (around a table). After all, when we face each other, particularly those we do not choose, that is, our family, we are ultimately facing our-selves.
One person whom I did not choose but (in a way) chose me was my mother. What a privilege to draw my dear-mother in her favorite-chair at her favorite-table. I've spent many-a-night contemplating the thing-in-itself of mum's sitting at that very place, deep in thought. The table is her domestic altar, the table of communion with family, with herself. After every meal, she sits and contemplates, eyes closed, as if in quiet adoration at what has just taken place. I love that precious woman, the once-cradle of my being, and I thank God for this opportunity to draw her in this sacred-state.