I am Sarah Martin.
I am Mary’s daughter.
I am Jacks eldest granddaughter.
I am a poet.
Mary Martin's show The Artist and the Slaughtermen was opened last Thursday 30 August at Steps Gallery.
Deb Ellks a beautiful friend of my aunts brought a room of vocal people to a quiet hum. Her voice sung in the story of a mother calling home her sons. In this moment I felt like I was blanketed by love as I stood next to my closest friend and beside my grandmother. My brother and family were in my vision, my Dad was holding his head high, my aunts, uncles and cousins were scattered around, my friends caught my eye with smiles.
I stood directly across from my mother who kept smiling at me. Like me she had a heart shift almost two years ago because of this song, this song carried her through the art work, a strong line in the song "the buffalo used to say be what you are...." and here we were witnessing the being of my mother.
Sarah Tomasetti then officially opened the show. This woman in her own right is a talented and gifted artist, but to me she is part of the reason why my mother is successful at HER art. Sarah has a way with my Mum. a way I envy. For the past 20 years she has been undoubtably the "unconditional" in my Mum's life. What Sarah did in opening the show was tie the art with the written story. She held my uncles in silence, commanding the space by telling their story, and speaking their story in a way that allowed them to ONLY feel pride.
My Mum was generous enough to allow myself to show a piece of art along with my two cousins Jack and Jess both talented artists who shone their hearts and I know this is just the beginning of their story telling.
I don't think I've yet taken it all in, but what sits with me is an amazing amount of honor. This was for my family, their story their lives, who they are, who they have made me to be.
My mother has this gift that allows you to get lost in this dreamy like world where you are captured in image and story, and possibly I've grown up with this being my life, for me this isnt anything unnatural or odd.
However, this is probably the first time I've experienced what others experience when they become lost in her work. I know they were there for her, and even though I know they came with an idea, those ideas were blown out upon the winter night air.
Her talent was received. Her story was successful. My mother was present.
I know my life as a visual artist/poet will never be the same, my relationship with art will now be different, my story will now be present.
The story of my grandfather resonates through the whole of the family. He too was a present man, he gave, he was strong, disciplined, provided, was a mate, a worker, a leader, a father, husband and most importantly to myself was a grandfather.
This was his story, their story.
My mothers story.
Below are some shots of our art