February 26, 2019

Does sympathy, rather than empathy, help combat bereavement?

Jamie Orme, 22

The people in this work are those that I felt most amity with whilst overcoming the loss of my father in March 2018. As a child, when asked how I learned to draw I would respond ‘My mum draws animals and my dad draws people, so I copied my dad’. This drawing presents a culmination of all the skills I have learned from my dad, and further education, over 22 years study. The work is inherently documentative of my 22 year journey and further it records the lifestyles, personalities and choices of those seen in the drawing – through choice of furniture, clothing, hair styles etc reality catalogues each of their respective journeys. The four were with me through what I define as my lowest and most difficult moments in the bereavement process. Whether they realise it themselves or not, the way they spoke to me and treated me really aided me in overcoming these difficult barriers. None of them have experienced the loss of a parent, and so they could only offer sympathy. I craved empathy but in those lowest moments, the sympathy of these four friends was a highly valuable substitute to me.


Berkley Street’
Pencil 5h-8b, onyx oil based pencil, white/Black acrylic pen, putty rubber, on paper
118 x 80cm

instagram : @orme_illustration

Despite the instant nature of this photograph-like-drawing, it is not drawn from a single photograph, but rather a collage of multiple photographs. Some of the work had to be imagined to fill in the gaps, and there are inconsistencies if looking in the right places, I tried to present as many different drawing techniques in the one work as possible, if looking closely different techniques are evident.