New York, NYUSA
Hometown: New York, NY
March 15, 2013
Death Cafe is a perfect outlet for talking about subject matter that brings out fear, dark humor, forensic curiosity and spiritual inquiry. Especially interested in interactions with the "Beyond."
To end-of-life patients and their families at VNSNY Haven Hospice, I am “the Memory Artist” - offering to create a “picture of a memory for which you have no photos” --from interviews, personal photos and photo research. All of this culminates in magic realism: a digital photomontage called a "Dreamscape." The process involves my asking questions about when the subject felt “most alive.” The PROCESS lifts the spirits of the dying patient, family members and friends as they lead me to the memories I immortalize. THE PRODUCT (the "Dreamscape") lives on: from the hospice nightstand to the memorial service to a picture frame, photo purse, trivet, T-shirt ... The "Dreamscape" becomes a share-able, branded campaign about their loved one. And if the relationship with the deceased is complicated? I can modify the Dreamscape for that audience of one.
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The possibilities of an afterlife fascinate me. But no one from the spirit world seems to visit.
It's the salon I've always wanted to create around a deep subject with a wide cross-section of thoughtful people: therapists and chaplains ... filmmakers, writers, teachers ... Reiki masters, death doulas ... grieving siblings/spouses/sons & daughters ... multi-generational, all faiths (from atheist to Buddhist) and everyone passionately absorbed in what the others are saying. - Nancy Gershman, co-host