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X-mas Eve


Cathleen Mahan

About the artist: 

Cathleen Mahan is a contemporary visual artist and a registered nurse specializing in critical care. “I’ve long known that my experience as a nurse informs my artwork. The same quality of touch that reassures a frightened patient becomes a creative source in the studio. Never, however, has my artwork been so directly linked to my patients as in the body of work that includes this drawing.”

About the artwork:

“One day last year while attending to the usual studio tasks, I felt compelled to draw. Inexplicably, I found myself furiously rendering the memory of a patient I cared for thirty-five years ago. Over the course of the next month a total of eighteen patients/experiences/memories beckoned me to revisit them through drawing. The process was humbling and curious. As any healthcare professional will attest, certain patients stay with us, welcome or not. These hitchhikers of memory, it seems, have a purpose after all. In ‘X-mas Eve,’ Alvin and the Chipmunks merrily sing holiday music in the background, but this woman hears only the news that her husband of sixty-four years will not survive the night.”

Visuals editor:

Justin Sanders