This work was created in the period following the death of my mother. Water is an ever-present element in my work. For my mother, crossing a body of water was the way she envisaged her impending death. Like many, she had a deep emotional and spiritual connection to the sea. Water represented a powerful place of transition between worlds. In the last weeks of her life I felt I and other carers helped guide her through those waters. At times this journey felt perilous, with sudden changes of tides and dangerous rips, which are mirrored in the feelings of grief that have followed her departure. I wanted to make a work that depicted a view of the ocean that captures the intensity of this experience, of accompanying her until it was time to let her go and return to the bank, bound to the shore line.
Valerie Sparks: Crossing