Saturday 3 December 2016

ABADID 3...My sister Kay

Some of you are aware that my big sister passed away last month. She was 12 years older than me and I remember her coming home from art college in the 60s. She studied Silversmithing and Jewellery and then went on to train as a teacher.

Sometimes she'd bring home treasures from the city, things to make art with, stories or treats like Shake-A-Pudd'n. The box was complete with tall paper cups, lids, long spoons and pudding mix to which we added water and then danced around shaking the mix before letting it set. Funny, the moments you remember.

She became an art teacher and taught me at school which seemed strange at first but I soon knew I was lucky to have her as a teacher. Kay put so much thought into her classes and how her students might complete their work. We learned to recognise art and design in everyday life and she instilled an appreciation of art in those she taught. 

Determined to improve our confidence she trained our A-Level class to life draw, in sessions lasting an hour, then half an hour, 20 minutes, 10 minutes, all the way down to 5 secs. And then she took us schoolgirls to the market on a busy Monday. There we sat drawing the moving people around us. I felt empowered, an artist, able to catch real movement in seconds.

It was Kay who stood up for me, persuading my Mum that I needed to go to art college too, rather than the academic course selected for me. And she was at the end of a phone throughout, helping me with questions I had about art and about living away from home in the big city.

Each time I had an exhibition she'd buy some work. Each time I'd make her something her face would shine with delight. Each time I wrote a short story she'd enthuse. It was the same for anyone who was creative. Always encouraging, always believing in the best of us.

When I was completing a City & Guilds Embroidery course and undertaking a gratis commission for her as a final piece I asked her for some ideas on what item she'd like and what colours she preferred. I didn't just get an email with a few pointers, I received an entire folder in the post packed with information,  colours, shape, size, texture and form. Attention to detail.

As we got older our friendship strengthened. Phone calls lasting at least an hour long. We'd discuss life, the world, the universe. We'd chat and we'd laugh - a lot of laughter. Her sense of humour was boundless. 

Little Big Sis...
Sister, Teacher, Advocate, 
Mentor, Patron

Copyright © 2016 by Roisin O'Hagan/bloowabbit
All rights reserved. The artworks/illustrations or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the artist except for specific permission granted with a free downloadable.

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