Filling a library

“when an old person dies, a library burns to the ground”

I met artist Pip Stokes in 2002 when we both began our Master’s of Fine Arts degree and I farewelled her on 21 November 2011.   In between we shared a friendship, the journey of our PhDs – both exploring grief and loss – hers on Care and mine on Trauma.   We travelled together through Austria, Germany, and Cambodia to research sites of mourning and loss; searching for what is needed and how the artist might fill that need.

Pip was modern and old-fashioned, a dreamer as well as having an incredibly sharp intellect. She was an avid note writer.   As she was dying, I tended her garden in the Grampians and I still visit and feel her most intensely there, in the ancient land she loved so deeply.

These books are a contemplation of aspects of our time together.   Her words to me are shadows in the pages of landscape, remnants of her silk shirt, her artworks, here. But she is gone.   And what I could say about her life, our friendship and my loss would fill a library.


These two concertina books are part of

 A Time To Remember – November 5–23

St Nicholas Gallery & Events Gallery

This annual exhibition recognizes the important church feast days of All Saints and All Souls on November 1 and 2, and the November 11 Remembrance Day commemoration of the Armistice ending the hostilities of the Great War.
As the ‘crazy’ commercialism of the Christmas Season gears up, we offer this time-out for reflection, and, for some, a time to grieve.The theme  this year of A Time To Remember is the exploration of Loss, Displacement, Healing and Hope.We invited a number of artists to contribute to this exhibition and we invite both them and you to a
formal opening on Saturday November 8 at 10.30am. Morning Tea will be served and some shared reflections with the artists on the work in the Gallery. Accompanying and displayed with the artwork will be poems, again written for the Exhibition’s themes, by members of St Nicholas Poetry Society.

St Nicholas Gallery & Events

9 Bear Street

MordiallocVIC 3195

Tel: 03 9580 1192
check out their Facebook page for details
you can read more about Pip  IN THE BLACK RANGE


2 thoughts on “Filling a library

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. But heartened by the warmth of your memory of your intimate friend.

    May she live on well in your dreams.

    All my bests. Stuart.

    Regards Stuart Murphy Mb 0413757733


Comments are closed.