A very warm thank you to the curators and contributors of the West Auckland based Upstairs Gallery and the 2022 Emerging Artist Awards.
I was incredibly grateful to receive the Meticulous Print Award from Meticulous Prints. Steve did a wonderful job capturing 'Dimitri' and producing the prints. I was able to pass several of these on to Dimitri's family.
Dimitri, 2022, Oil on Canvas
Dimitri comes to visit me with his sister and parents sometimes. Our mad, energetic games always end in laughter. He was intrigued by my flat's house skeleton last visit and clambered into the plastic replica's lap with the enthusiasm of taking a photo with Santa at Christmas. There is something to be said for building new memories, a new beginning with the people you choose as family. It is a profound privilege to be present for them, to share their joy. Growing up can be difficult for so many people in ways that are hard to see from the outside. There is much healing to be had in small and unexpected moments. There is much love to be found even in people who may not share our name, but share our values and eccentricities. I am forever blessed to count himself, his sister and both their parents among my dearest family. Dimitri is still learning how to say my name yet my heart always swells when he calls me "Ya-yi".
Below are several beautiful prints of 'Dimitri' captured by Meticulous Prints, located in Auckland also.