© Rita Draper Frazão

Inner Tour is a blog about People, Arts and Traveling by Rita Draper Frazão.
If you want to use my work, presented here, please send me a message.

quarta-feira, 3 de junho de 2015


Pietà (name taken from the Michealgelo's masterpiece with the same name) is the name I gave to this portrait. It is my grand mother.

She was a painter and a gallerist, and I had written before about her on this blog, here and here. She died with Parkinson and, at the moment this drawing was made, she couldn't move or speak, but she could see, hear and think.

As soon as I entered the room where she was, there she was, laying exactly in the same position as the Christ in Pietà, and hence its title, that totally suited the situation - Mercy.

The family already knew about her fragile health condition, and I went to the hospital to visit her, properly equipped with my drawing and painting gear.  I wanted to paint her as she did with me when I was a child, and I asked her permission to do so, although she couldn't answer.

The contrasted colors I chose, the type of nervous sketch rhythm, and the descendant diagonals in the black typography, reflected the violence of the emotional situation - she was dying.

When I finished the drawing I showed it ho her, and to my surprise, she firmly grabbed my hand.
I guess art's is about some sort of communication, and in that very moment that had never been so true to me. She got it all!

One day afterwords, she passed away and I keep this drawing as memory of that amazing moment.

It comes across to talk about this, also because yesterday I told this exact story to a class of medical related areas students from 3 different universities.

I was invited by the Faculdade de Ciências Médicas (Lisbon's Medical School) as a "creative advisor" on their Agedness Workshop.

It involved students from Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Escola Superior de Saúde of Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal (Health Sciences Faculty from the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal) and Faculdade de Motricidade Humana (Human Kinetics School).

The aim was to think and produce material to raise awareness towards elderly falls. How to prevent them, how to inform people about it, how to manage it, how to involve and motivate the patient and its family, how to improve someone's life after a fall.

Having in mind that, each and one of us age, senescence and its meanders are a matter that many of us don't want to think about but that we should pay a little more attention.

Using the World Café method, the workshop ran into small groups of work that worked out different solutions for several given case scenarios. And as they came from three different areas (including myself), a multidisciplinary approach was used.

We listened to people that study these matters pretty seriously and it seems relieving that a good family support, a good physician, physical activity, good alimentation, and an active social network can do wonders. It was refreshing to me to know so many students so motivated and with great ideas to make a change in these peoples life's. They can transform the future of society.

From my experience, with elderly people - mostly with my grand parents and their cousins or siblings, I felt how important it was for them to feel creatively stimulated, apart from their physical disabilities. Meaning thinking out of the box. Some of them already died, but this drawing here, was one of the examples I mentioned in the class because I used Art as a mean of communication with someone whose sensorial perception wasn't completely damaged. My reasoning was to focus on the things she could still do and not on the things she couldn't.

So my question would be: don't elder people deserve - besides their medical condition, treatments, etc - to have a source of pleasure at the end phase of their lives? Wouldn't it make a difference if they felt still active?

Topics for us to think and reposition our place in the world.

In the end, it was a lot of fun participate on this initiative, thank you for inviting me. May it be the start for further investments and research on this area, including arts and design (this was a first at the medical School, I was told!) as a mean of improving one's life.

4 comentários:

  1. Thanks for making us think out of the box, and for putting a little bit of art on our work...:)

  2. Wow! É incrivel como a arte mexe com as pessoas. Adorei o desenho, o texto e a mensagem. Thank you for sharing. Beijinhos