It was during the first lockdown in 2020 when time spent at home/indoors increased significantly and I guess my mind got to calm down from all the rushing around. This forced me to reflect on things in a very different way. It had been a really challenging year from losing our son Frank... Spending time outdoors was a huge relief and suddenly it was no longer possible in a way that we had used to. We were getting close to his one year anniversary of becoming an angel and since those winter months, ahead of his first birthday without him, I had grown a need to express myself. It started with writing poetry, the first of which I published on his 3rd birthday....
'It's your birthday'
today is a very special day
we celebrate it in a slightly different way
it's painful to imagine what it could have been like
but we sure to have a little celebratory bite
you always wanted to go for a stroll
it was your happy and inquisitive little soul
we have plans to go and see something new
and hope that you will hover there with us too
it will never be the same on this day
we should not be suffering in all this pain
it was your choice to move on and set yourself free
our Frankie, it's your birthday, and you would have been 3
I have always loved drawing although I haven't got any formal guidance and haven't taken any art classes when younger because my music studies were too intense for being able to take up any outside school hobby. As a teenager I was sometimes watching the Fashion TV and sketching the models. I was more fascinated with fabrics and movement than anything else and it also served as a music channel at that time. All the 90s supermodels have ended up in my sketchbooks but I don't think any of these drawings have survived which I am very sad about when going through my old stuff in recent years.
Getting back to art
I had discovered the world of poetry when expecting Frank but the lines and rhymes started to poor out now that I had lost him..... During that spring in 2020, I was thinking about the time when we were in the hospital with Frank the year before. We always tried to find time for art - both before and after his diagnosis. It was a precious time with him and I will always miss that. I recognised there and then that it's a form of expression that I needed now and something that felt I was able to connect with him again. I have never looked back and I feel he is with me every time when I spend time in my studio.
Art with passion and purpose
I was very humbled when within the first week, a family friend commissioned me to do a drawing for them. It felt too good to be true but from then on, there were more people interested to buy my drawings and also create art for them. I loved creating, the way it made me feel, the healing it gave me but I also realised that there must be a bigger purpose behind my art practice. It was then when the idea of Frank's Funds was born in support of the Great Ormonde Street Hospital for Children and the research team at UCLH where Frank's blood sample is included. As there are so many people who ask for donations for their chosen good cause, I wanted to do it slightly differently. Hence the idea that I don't want to simply ask for the money but instead, when I sell art, I donate 50% of my profits to Frank's Funds. And that will always be my why.