Wiradjuri woman Kylie Tarleton has told many stories, songlines and journeys through her art, so when her son Cooper finished treatment for sarcoma, it was natural to paint his journey.
It was a time for Kylie to reflect on what they had been through, capture that journey and also to give back and pay respect to the people at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse who had accompanied Cooper. It was as much Kylie’s journey as Cooper’s and telling the story would help her move on.
Kylie notes, “What we went through was very similar to other people’s journey. I wanted to give people a sense of shared experience and of hope, to let them know there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Completing the painting allowed Kylie to reflect openly and honestly, to accept what they had been through and also to get through it and move on.
“I was on high alert the whole time during Cooper’s treatment and focused on staying strong for him. When it was over, I hit a low and this painting helped me through that patch.”
Last Friday Cooper had his 12-month scan and was cancer free. He’s enjoying life in Orange, looking after himself, continuing his science studies at UNSW for afar, coaching a basketball team and most importantly spending time with his loved ones.