Jennifer Baird (Australia)
Title: The last day Dad felt well.
Medium: Construction of envelope lists and thread
Size: 21 x 29cm
The last day Dad felt well was Christmas day 2020. This work is a ‘book’ of lists and envelopes that document Dad’s journey to his Lymphoma diagnosis in January 2021. I feel like it has been 10 years but in a matter of weeks I saw my strong bright-eyed father age to an old frail man. He turned 86 on the 2nd of March and his prognosis is good because he is strong. I’ve never seen him as old. Always making and designing things out of wood. The envelopes in this work show lists with my mother’s writing for groceries I bring to them. Lists my sister, Susan has written for things she needed when she moved in to look after Mum when Dad was in hospital. An envelope with ‘Ben’ written on it in Dad’s handwriting for my son’s 21st birthday. And toward the end an envelope with a Santa sticker that Mum used for the grandkid’s Christmas money. One of the Doctors asked Dad ‘When was the last day you felt well?’ Christmas Day was his answer. We had a great Christmas lunch together at my brother David’s house.
Jennifer Baird is a mid career 2D artist, residing in Canberra. Working across printmaking, painting and collage. 2021 sees her exhibit in a group show at Humble House Gallery exploring her favourite seascape themes, especially the South Coast of NSW. And a June Solo at Strathnairn Arts, where she explores a deep fascination with the James Turrell Skyspace ‘Within Without’.