THE STORY BEHIND GRIEFSCAPES
I'm Jessamy Hawke, an illustrator and landscape artist based in the UK.
In 2019, my father passed away two years after being diagnosed with
Motor Neurone Disease. Since his death, I’ve found it incredibly therapeutic to spend time in the places we used to walk together, visiting locations he loved. Standing where he stood and looking at his favourite view is a way of connecting to him - remembering his life and the time we spent together.
With Griefscapes, I want to create an online space to explore the links between landscape and loss through illustration. By inviting those who have lost loved ones to share their landscapes with me, alongside my own illustrated experiences, I want to capture sense of place through colour, texture, and mark-making. Whether it’s a mountain, a valley, a beach, or even a cityscape - it can be any place that means something to you or reminds you of the person you’ve lost.
My plan was to visit each landscape myself and experience it by painting on site, but with the current pandemic I don’t know when this will be possible. So for now I’ve decided to visit these places ‘virtually’ instead, through photos and videos, and paint each landscape back in my studio, as well as looking at loss and landscape more widely drawing on literature and poetry.
HOW IT WORKS
If you’d like to be involved, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with photos of the landscape and a description of what the landscape means to you. I’ll then paint the view, combining my illustration with your writing. To find out more about how to get involved with Griefscapes, click here.
Please feel free to share this project with anyone you think might find it interesting. Losing my dad has left a huge hole in my life; living with his absence doesn’t get any easier with time, but I have found that by being out in nature has been a comfort and a reminder of what life was like when he was around.
There is undoubtedly a sense of sadness in landscapes like these, where a person’s absence can feel even more painful - but there’s also a bittersweet connection and a remembrance of them through a sense of place. I hope that Griefscapes can offer the same to others who are have lost loved ones.
If you’d like to see more of my landscape work, visit my website at www.jessamyhawke.co.uk and follow me on Instagram @jessamydrewthat.