The Tree of Hope

Artist Paul Jackson was asked by the Bristol Grandparents Support Group in the UK to create an illustration depicting Estrangement (between grandparents and grandchildren).

“My first thought,” Paul said, “was ‘How can I portray this without only illustrating despair, sorrow and frustration along with all the other emotions that grandparents and grandchildren experience?’ Well, simply, my idea was not to portray one moment, but a narrative that would be made up of a series of moments.

“The Group’s very own ‘Tree of Hope,’ created by its co-founders Marc and Jane every Christmas, became quickly the central moment. When we are in despair the most effective response is a positive action that is both physical and emotional. If possible that positive action also encourages others to be involved and take positive healing steps, then all the better. Hence ‘The Tree of Hope’ is a perfect example of turning our personal hopelessness into hope. Without hope we all feel lost and have a sense of disconnection and a lack of ability to change anything. therefore, positive change is a vital first step to healing ourselves.

“The same positive effect can be achieved in similar ways such as keeping notes, writing letters, enjoying photographs and sharing memories.  All of these became part of my motivation along with trying to give a sense of the bigger picture. A family is made up of many parts including our parents, our grandparents and the stories that make each of us who we are.”