Thursday, June 23, 2011

Holding Our Own: Art and Death

Tonight in our class on Death and Dying we watched an extraordinary video called “Holding Our Own”. The subtitle is “Embracing the End of Life”.

This documentary is about fabric artist Deidre Scherer who creates fabric “paintings” from real life sketches of people who are dying. Her work is extraordinarily beautiful and her craft amazing in the ways she creates super-realism in portraiture using fabric. But the other beauty is her belief and philosophy about the role that death plays in life.

The second focus of this film is the Hallowell Chorus in Burlington Vermont. Hallowell is a group of amateur and professional singers that participate in Hospice in Burlington. They come to homes and hospitals to sing to and for people who are actively dying.

These artists speak about their feelings and beliefs about death and what they have learned about their own lives thru the experience of singing for and creating art with the dying.

This video was produced by Paul Newman and it’s available from Netflix or can be purchased on Amazon. It’s a fabulous intersection of creativity and death—which is to say generation-- or life and death.

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