Collaborative Exhibition between Cynthia O'Brien and Barbara Brown
Ottawa City Hall
November 2018 - January 2019
LifeCycle Conversations is inspired by the theme of memento mori – a reminder of human fragility, mortality and the inevitability of death. In traditional Western painting it is represented symbolically by flowers, fruit and other objects, but here memento mori has been transposed into immersive installations created collaboratively by Barbara Brown and Cynthia O’Brien.
This is the first time that Barbara Brown (photography) and Cynthia O’Brien (clay sculpture) have chosen to work in a collaborative manner – their new works are the fruit of their combined artistic vision. Though the artists work in different media, both employ the changing beauty and delicacy of plants and flowers as a commemorative act and as an observance of transience, loss, memory, decline and rejuvenation in all living things. Brown and O’Brien’s installations are also a
reflection upon the emotional impact and insights gained from their profound experience of working as artists in a long-term care residence where they befriend individuals who are near
the end of their lives.
Words by Judith Parker