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Intensive Care heals 

New York artist Susanna Heller drew to get through her husbands illness, see the powerful collection at Mount Saint Vincent’s gallery.

click to enlarge Susanna Heller’s untitled pencil on paper drawing
  • Susanna Heller’s untitled pencil on paper drawing

As Susanna Heller spent months alongside her husband's hospital bed, watching him endure intrusive surgeries, waiting for him to return from an induced coma, she drew. During a time where so much was uncertain, and her soulmate was figuratively out of reach, it was her pencil and paper that grounded her. "For me drawing and painting stop and expand time, so drawing bedside as Bill struggled to live was a way of being more intensely with him and not thinking about what was about to happen next," reflects Heller, who for months never revisited the pictures she had drawn of her suffering husband. Eventually she began to share them, first with Bill. The drawings, along with some paintings now make up the powerful Intensive Care, a cathartic reminder of her days of waiting. "It still amazes me where all that work came from," she says. "And it really carries me back to the dark and terrifying days watching over Bill." —Allison Saunders

To Apr 29, MSVU Art Gallery, 166 Bedford Highway

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