Editor's Note

Volume 23, Number 10: October 2022

Art & Palliative Care Merge at McGill Congress

The unspoken communications we have with people can be the most important ones in our lives, and theirs. That is why, to my mind, art is such a powerful medium—particularly when death is near, or has become a more conscious part of living.

The lead photo for this issue of the newsletter, and artworks on this page, will be on view throughout the McGill University International Palliative Care Congress. They form part of an exhibit curated by filmmaker Elle Flanders, who selected artists “whose work resonated for me at a very deep level… Their work is particularly sensitive and thoughtful to end-of-life issues,” even if for some (like photographer Edward Burtynsky), that wasn’t intentional.

The exhibit, she says, “is a way to make connections through another way of communicating…[to have] a different conversation, at a contemplative level. Art is quiet; it works on a sensory level and enters our consciousness differently than speech. My idea was to bring something like a metaphysical intervention to a conference where there is a great deal of talking.”

—Alison Ramsey
IAHPC Newsletter Editor

Edward Burtynsky, Xylella Studies #2, Lecce, Puglia, Italy, 2021. His work “is about our planet hanging on by the fingernails—you can see it as a mechanism of the end of an evolutionary cycle,” says Flanders. Used with permission.

Excerpt from Any Gottlieb’s The Year I Didn't Die (in 16 Parts). Used with permission.
April Hickox, Observance 2022. Hickox, who creates flower arrangements that are presented, then deconstructed and reconstructed, “is commemorating friends who have died. Her work is very direct: death and dying from a very spiritual, philosophical place,” says Flanders. Used with permission.

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