MOTHER'S LAMENT: Mother's Prayer



A Mother’s Prayer for Mother’s Lament

by E. L. Briscoe

The process for producing the painting titled A Mother’s Prayer for Mother’s Lament I attempted to place myself in the position closest to that of the mothers and fathers who have had to face the loss of a child. Thankfully I have not had to have that experience but I have been close to someone who has had that experience under different circumstances. I am positive that the emptiness is equal. It caused me to take the time to think of my own experiences. The first was in the months before my son was born and my wife and I were faced with the reality that our child would have to have surgery at 10 months old to remove a mass from his abdomen. At the time we were told it could be one of two things. One, life-threatening and the other, not. We were relieved that it was the latter but I remember not being willing to go through that agonizing time of not knowing again; the thought of potentially losing a child especially at such a young age. The other moment… amidst all of the seemingly senseless killings of young black men that have plagued this country recently was the killing of 12-year old Tamir Rice. At the time of this shooting my own son was 11 years old. Of all of these killings, this one created the largest hole for me because it resonated more than the others because my son was so close in age to Tamir. With these realities in mind I began to contemplate the artwork.

After reading the poem for Mother’s Lament I was reminded of the interactions I see between my wife and my son. I can physically see how much they love one another. I remember my wife crying on his first day of kindergarten, the first day of the first grade and his first day of middle school. I cannot think of a more, empty place than if something would happen to her “baby” or my “homie”. The word that came to mind was “Hope” and I decided to reference 3 in my imagery with that in mind. The imagery is derived from the three sections of the poem and represented by the three column-like stained glass windows with young men holding out hands of praise… or hands open and in the air; adorned with orange and blue hues which have a relationship with one another on the “color wheel” that create a visual tension when used together, the solitary woman with open palms, powerless and asking a higher power for answers and prayers for her only child (our son) and two very-young-men around her who are both protectors and innocents.