The image is haunting.
The two figures are intertwined on the ground. One is clearly an adult, the other a child.
The black and white silence is shaking.
Viewers may wonder about the meaning of the picture but for Caitlin Cole, its purpose is very clear.
It is part of his new role as the custodian of his late son’s memory.
Ms Cole and other families are part of a new exhibition called My Little Sunshine Stories, photographs and audio collected by artist Naveen Samuel Reggie over four years working with families and staff at Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only children’s hospice is a collection of.
a short life was good
Ms Cole described her son, Rory Bakker, who died in 2019 at the age of 12, as “red-headed, a little pleased”.
“He was the kid who always liked to smile. He loved to live, even though he couldn’t do everything that everyone else could do in life,” she recalled.
At 26 weeks pregnant, Ms. Cole had symptoms of infection and high blood pressure.
Ms Cole told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Loretta Ryan that a scan showed her baby Had a stroke.
“He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, he had chronic lung disease, and there were hopes Rory wouldn’t come through.
“Then we were referred to palliative care a few years later. I think we were officially referred to the Hummingbird House as one of the first clients of the home.”
Hummingbird House is Queensland’s only children’s hospice and provides specialized pediatric palliative care to babies, toddlers and young people with life-limiting conditions.
Families can choose to spend time in a purpose-built home in Brisbane, or in their own home or community.
Spotlight on Death, Palliative Care
Ms Cole was expecting some “really cool family photos” and when Mr Reggie asked if she would be a part of his project, she “jumped at the chance”.
“I’ll admit when I first walked in [exhibition] Space I burst into tears and lost it a little bit,” she said.
That haunting black-and-white image of Ms. Cole and her son is her favorite piece in the exhibit.
“I was given the opportunity to watch out for Rory after he passed away,” she said.
“It seemed like every bird in Brisbane came and said goodbye to him. And there’s a picture of him and me on the ground.
artist’s privileged work
When Mr Reggie saw the death of someone he was caring for, he said he “began to question my reaction to my own grief”.
He said the Hummingbird House project gave him a priceless insight into the near-death experience.
“Instead of telling people what to do and you know, putting the camera in front of their faces and taking a photo, it’s really a collaboration,” he said.
“It’s about telling stories, trying to figure out the best way to tell that story through an image and an audio recording.
“And it’s an incredible honor to be in that place and trust that story.”
The name My Little Sunshine Stories came about when two families started singing Jimmy Davis tunes to their children.
The content of Mr. Reggie’s exhibition is something Fiona Hawthorne sees every day, but the photography and sounds still take her breath away.
She is the General Manager of Palliative Care Services at Wesley Mission Queensland, which houses Hummingbird House.
There are about 5,700 families who can use Hummingbird House services and Ms Hawthorne acknowledged that “maybe we need more”.
“But I think that rather than just another brick and mortar hospice, Hummingbird House is now moving to support the communities where they live, they love and they will eventually grieve. “
“This is our next step, to bring Hummingbird House to communities across the state with compassionate neighbors and compassionate communities.
The My Little Sunshine Stories exhibition runs until June 11 at KEPK, Unit J2/241 Station Road, Yerongpili. Visit Facebook page for more information.