Portrait of the Artist's Mother | Dignity, Creativity and Disability by Fiona Place will be published by Spinifex Press in May 2019. This will be such an important book for everyone in our community. Put simply, Fiona writes glorious prose. That she has turned her attention to a long form reflection on parenting, creativity and disability is a cause to celebrate. It is for us, as readers, to recognise the experiences Fiona articulates because we share them. Here in the DSNSW Library we are almost beside ourselves with excitement!
Long standing members of our community will remember that Fiona edited Voice magazine for a number of years as well as having been a member of staff here at Down Syndrome NSW.
The book will be officially launched on Friday 3 May 2019 in Glebe.
I am seen by many as a danger. As having failed to understand the new rules, the new paradigm of successful motherhood.
A memoir and an examination of the politics of disability. Fiona Place describes the pressure from medical institutions to undergo screening during pregnancy and the traumatic nature and assumptions that a child with Trisomy 21 should not live, even though people with Down syndrome do live rich and productive lives. Fiona's son, Fraser, has become an artist and his prize-winning paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Sydney and Canberra. How does a mother get from the grieving silence of the birthing room through the horrified comments of other mothers to the applause at gallery openings?
This is a story of courage, love and commitment to the idea that all people, including those who are 'less than perfect', have a right to be welcomed into this increasingly imperfect world. Publisher Note