Jane Murdoch Adams




Frida and Child Series

This spin-off series, TENDERNESS: FRIDA AND CHILD, evolved as I was working on earlier Frida paintings, and came to know more about her, and feel for her more deeply.

You may know that it was Frida's very ardent, yet perilous, wish to have a child. But she couldn't - she had a damaged back and pelvis - and didn't.

I recently read a book by the philosopher Alain de Botton in which he talked about

…our longing for tenderness, for comfort….which seems at odds with the “rational” lives we live. Frailty is an inevitable feature of all our lives; disappointments, betrayals, loneliness, pain. There is no grown-up who does not regularly yearn to be comforted like a child. I am sure Frida did. I am sure I do.

While for long stretches in our lives we can believe in our maturity, but we never succeed in insulating ourselves against the kind of catastrophic events that sweep away our ability to reason. We are sometimes thrown back into a state of primordial helplessness. At such moments we may long to be held and reassured, as we were - or would loved to have been - when we were children.

We are pre-rational in our hearts.

I decided Frida should have children. I want Frida to be comforted too, by her children. I want them to share the dear feeling of being embraced, with love and kindness, and reassured: Its OK. Everything will be alright. I understand.

(This is the kind of exciting convergence that sometimes happens when I am painting….several ideas collide and I am suddenly doling something which is much more vital - to me - secret, bright, emotional.)


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