Sunday, June 13, 2010

He Wanted to Die at Home, Decision Portrait Series.

(Above:  He Wanted to Die at Home, Decision Portrait Series.  Stitched words:  I refused to put my father in a home; Three years of loving care until he died.  Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin.  Hand stitched.)

Rhonda Hall is a talented, self-taught photographer who also works in mixed media.  She creates wonderful work, writes passionately about our environment and has a great blog.  Please visit it HERE

(Above:  He Wanted to Die at Home, Decision Portrait Series.  Detail.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Rhonda also understands the concept behind my Decision Portrait Series and knew I wanted to present straight-forward decisions without value judgment.  To do this, I often need to depict more than one option for a particularly difficult situation.  An earlier portrait, On Dealing with Alzheimer's, resonated with Rhonda.  She has worked as a nurse and has dealt with the myriad of issues involved with caring for the elderly.  She understand the choice to find professional care outside the home.  Rhonda's mother died in a hospital when she was only twelve.  Thus, when it came to her father, she made another that required tireless, loving care for three years.  Rhonda volunteered to share this with me through stitches.

I stitched the portrait almost as a companion to the earlier work....using similar thread choices and a minimal border at just the top and bottom.  I plan on hanging these two side-by-side.  Each is a powerful image.  Together, they are intensely profound and will touch many people at the upcoming exhibition.

(Above:  He Wanted to Die at Home, Decision Portrait Series.  Detail.  Click on image to enlarge.)

The decisions one generation faces in handling their elder relatives can be stressful.  What is right for one person really isn't necessarily right for another.  Rhonda's loving care was a decision that required a great deal of work.  It was the best thing she could do.  Thank you so much, Rhonda, for being part of this series. 


Lynn said...

I do understand this one as I did it too for a year and half with my mom who had dementia. Hugs to Rhonda from one who also knows how hard this is...physically, emotionally...and the toll it takes on ones life.

Rhonda L. Hall said...

Hi Susan,
I am so pleased to be a small part of your wonderful work. What a vision you have, and what a talent for executing it! I feel good about the piece conveying my decision - it has helped me to re-validate my decision and myself. Thank you!

And Lynn,
Only someone who has experienced it could know the deep toll it takes on your life. Even so, I would do it all over again if given the chance. Thank you for the kind words. God bless :-)


Faye Pini said...

Know what you mean!