Brother and Sister
by Sarah Wake


I discovered the photograph which inspired this painting with my mum and grandfather when we were clearing out some possessions from my grandparent's house following my grandmothers death. Finding old photos of my grandparents together etc. was very hard emotionally for my mum and grandad to go through but then we found this image of me and my brother slotted amongst old black and white photos and it really lifted the mood.

I had never seen the photo before and immediately felt attached to it. My grandad suddenly brightened and smiled while he chatted about my brother and I as children. When we were younger we would often snuggle up together in the same bed and my mum described often being unable to identify us separately as our heads would merge together as a big bundle of brown hair. I saw this in the photo and I loved the way it could be turned around and placed at every angle and still look 'right'.

The day after we were at my grandad's house my brother left home to start a career in London. This was an added blow for my mum who felt her closest family members were leaving her. I knew that with the geographical distance between us me and my brother would never be as close physically as in he photo but I wanted to show my mum that we were still all close on an emotional level and would always be there for her, and I decided to paint a version of the picture to comfort her. Both myself, my grandad and my brother have the original photograph on our desks and my mum now has the painting at our family home.

Creative Arts