Researching Reform continues its “image of the month” series with Artist In Residence Paul Brian Tovey, an artist and adult adoptee who was abused by his adoptive parents as a child.

Paul campaigns for adoptees to have the legal right to revert back to their birth identities and connects with adoptees around the world.

Paul’s paintings reflect his experiences as an adoptee including the effect of his forced adoption on his mental health.

This month’s painting is titled, “Going Home To The Lord Of The Bone” and includes a poem, which is meant to be read alongside the art:

Speaking to Researching Reform about this month’s featured art, Paul said:

“Art’s a journey and for some of us Trauma-Adoptees it’s a dark one but also made of the human spirit wanting to understand and see into Adoption’s hidden social and personal dynamics.

As the Guiding Child might say: “We must be dogged on the journey and be aided by doggedness but even must see that dogs with a bone must let go and fall into the spaces of special emptiness… Mourning… Where even the bones disappear…. Poor bucket needs carrying… He gets full up this time of year…Walk into the picture and feel it – is the simple invitation.

Travelling through new Christmas’s means for me the old trauma of losses of family at 6 and many other “Living” losses come to the fore. Moreso in old age. I have a galaxy library of memories and years. Many remain as dark from loss of family. As I grew up I knew I had other sisters nearby – three in all in fact.

So every Christmas I wear the twisted muscle spasms and thorns of that. It happens.. Just happens. And I draw and draw and walk the walk again. It’s a destiny really, to make Art like this. A neurosis looking after itself as best it can. A catharsis eventually as the snows fall on your face and melt in your eyes.

Each snowflake will have written into it:  “Family” I will never really have. I can mourn though in my own way…. Yes …. I gained back the power to cry and express my own truth.. My Christmas present.”

We remain thankful to Paul for allowing us to showcase his work, and his talent, which deserve recognition.