The Bardo ∞ Project is legacy projects for artists
The Bardo ∞ Project explores creativity as a form of spiritual care in collaborations with artists facing life-limiting diseases nationwide to establish their legacy.
A resource by Marne Lucas
Western society avoids confronting death. We are conditioned to treat people with terminal diagnoses in a fragile manner and not as themselves. I collaborate with dying artists to make their lives vibrant, and facilitate legacy projects to celebrate their life’s work. I document the process and present works by my collaborators. “Bardo” is the Tibetan word for the transitional existence between death and rebirth. Living with life-limiting illness and the dying process are similarly "in between" states and are opportunity for introspection and honesty.
As artistic collaborator I assist the dying to arrive at peace and acceptance within a short time frame, making their portrait, conduct interviews, and aid them in defining their creative legacy via unique and collaborative works. I aid these artists to gain agency in actively participating in their own end of life process, and advocate for citizens to consider their own choices; the philosophical impact of making plans about one’s death provides control and facilitates mind and body integration. I travel nationwide to work with these individuals in person and virtually. I present relics from these journeys to illuminate the positive effects of art, and educate the public about end of life care options. The artists and their estate donate one work to the project’s permanent collection to continue to be exhibited beyond their lifespan, keeping their memory alive. Public facing arts programming allows viewers to engage with mortality, beauty and creativity, and includes advocacy and education on end of life care planning. The work sparks public dialogue about what constitutes a “good death”.
Towards this endeavor I trained via INELDA to be an end of life doula, a role that assists the dying and their families. I work as a private practice doula in Manhattan. This work continues to inform and enhance my artistic social practice work in the Bardo ∞ Project.
I am currently seeking artist collaborators for the Bardo ∞ Project. Please contact me for details. -Marne Lucas
A video about my artist residency at the Arts/Industry program at the Kohler Co. factory where I made the first related sculptural work.
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