Sharing grief brings healing in Medina artist’s exhibition

Alyssa Kanitsch with a picture she painted of her son when he was 16. Photo: Gabrielle Jeffery
Alyssa Kanitsch with a picture she painted of her son when he was 16. Photo: Gabrielle Jeffery

ART brings clarity and healing to the heart and mind.

It is for that reason Medina artist Alyssa Arnold, who uses the name Alyssa Kanitsch professionally, is holding an exhibition opening on Friday in honour of her son, Jordan, who was tragically killed in a car accident with two of his friends three years ago at Bruce Rock.

Jordan would have been 29 on March 18 this year.

Ms Arnold said her exhibition explores spiritual themes and is called ‘Angels and Archetypes’.

“I’m really doing this in Jordan’s honour,” she said.

“You just lose yourself after trauma.

“I honestly feel like I just have to honour him and my journey home. I need to do this.”

“I’m hoping it will resonate with others.”

She said her son often left her signs which she uses in her works.

“When someone so close dies it’s just like you are always trying to find where they are now,” she said.

“He sends so many signs, he loved the moon. I always find heart shaped items such as stones and lots of feathers.

“A few days before he passed away an owl came to our house at the farm.

“He had a picture of a little mopoke owl on his Facebook page.

“Owls have just kept appearing to our family and friends since he died.

“One even appeared at Quinns Rocks at my sisters house and it just sat a few feet away looking at us while we talked.

“My sister said ‘that’s Jordan’.”

She hoped sharing her pain would help others to heal.

“It’s a very feminine type of exhibition even though there is a lot of him in it,” she said.

“There’s a lot of meaning in making and healing.

“It’s hard to articulate with words but with painting it just flows.

“I know a lot of other grieving mums now and they can connect with what I’m doing – it’s a shared experience in some ways.

“We have so much shared experience – I like how art connects us.

“We all feel isolated but at the same time we all have a shared feeling, a connection.

“We do have to share – it’s really important, you don’t know who it will resonate with and touch.”

THE ESSENTIALS

WHAT: Angels and Archetypes Art Exhibition by Alyssa Kanitsch

WHEN: Opening Night Friday, March 29, 7pm and runs until April 3

WHERE: Rockingham Arts Centre, 11 Kent Street, Rockingham