“She’s incredible” - k.d. lang
Salmon Festival - Song Writer's Circle
Hello sweet Janet!
How are you?
Since I completed this painting, I have been encouraged by several loved ones to share a photo and story with you, the person who inspired my work. Our daughters best friend , wonderful west coast artist and my teacher Laura Harris, came to Toronto and stayed with us this past weekend. She discovered my painting hanging on the wall in her bedroom, loved it, asked about its creation after quietly listening to my story about you, told me that I must share with you. I painted it over a span of several weeks and found myself always playing “Highway of Tears” as I developed the abstract. I could clearly hear the agony you expressed as you sang the piece live in Woody Point, which was so much more powerful than it is on the recording.
The colours I used in layers eventually merged into the final reflection of my own feelings of frustration, past fears (I sadly, like most women, experienced abuse as a small child and terror from a very close call at age 11 then all the other BS we still seem to experience through our lives) and rage at the unsolved cases of thousands of missing and murdered women and children in this country. Why are we still having this conversation? Why have so few women had a “normal” life in this country and the world? WTF?!!
Anyway, I dedicate my painting to Steven Miller and Janet Cull who have so beautifully honoured those who no longer walk among us. Thank you both for your incredible gift of a painful yet inspiring song and for being amazing teachers to those who listen and get it! So here it is: “Highway of Tears”. Hope you like it.
Love you beautiful soul!
Sharon Kirkham - Artist