THE CLEARING: A MEMOIR OF ART, FAMILY AND MENTAL HEALTH
I’ve been an artist for many years, and writing has grown out of that creative space.
“The Clearing” is a memoir about ‘spaces between’ and what may be learned in them. As I clear the family home after the death of both my parents, the memories held there prompt reflections on my family’s flawed strategies for coping with my mother’s mental illness, the isolation of my father in caring for her, and how these relationships shifted as my parents aged.
These are threaded through with insights drawn from classical and scientific ways of understanding empty space, like the ‘ether’ and dark matter, and from the calm, contemplative space that art has always offered me.
PRAISE FOR THE CLEARING
“Samantha Clark writes on the subtle edge of words and thought. She renders the world within and the world of ideas with electric sensitivity and acute intelligence”
“As an artist, Clark is adept at dealing with metaphors and symbolism, and her forays into science and metaphysics feel like natural, unforced extensions of her grief and guilt, clarifying rather than obfuscating the path she has found through this turbulent phase of her life. Readers who have been through similar experiences will find much in this sensitive and articulate memoir which they can identify with and draw solace from”
“Perceptive…a reflection on art, life and the beauty to be found in things we can never fully understand.“
Times Literary Supplement
“Samantha Clark’s lyrically written memoir is a sensitive and haunting account of what it is like to grow up with a mentally ill parent, and how it affected her family and own life. It is a powerful meditation about fractured relationships, human vulnerability and resilience, loneliness and death. . . this unflinching memoir should appeal to those coming to terms with their own grief or mental illness.”
‘Sink’, ‘Eddy’ and ‘Rain’ form part of an ongoing series of film-poems or video essays made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on an island.