Researching Reform believes it is important to raise awareness about child maltreatment by supporting those who have experienced this form of abuse to share their experiences. One of the ways we do this is by showcasing art and literature created by these individuals.

Our image of the month offers a platform for children, women and men who want to express their experiences through artistic mediums, and share those experiences with the outside world. The art is transformed into the website’s page header for a month, and includes an introductory post about the artist, and their creation.

We are very fortunate to be able to feature the work of Paul Brian Tovey, who is currently Researching Reform’s Artist In Residence.

Paul is an adult adoptee whose adoptive parents physically, verbally and sexually abused him in childhood. His work reflects the impact this maltreatment has had on his mental health and his physical health, as a child and as an adult.

Paul now campaigns for adoptees to have the legal right to revert back to their birth identities.

This painting is titled, “The sky of many moons.” It highlights Paul’s feelings about the loss of his natural mother.

Paul shared a poem with Researching Reform about this piece:

1957 May. Backwards Time Diary:

May is a mother bomb on my personal backward time Tarot

It is the place of the last fight on Dad, and mother’s railway arrow

It is the flash sun lights and banging rails as towns and country pass

It is me on my Hobbyhorse of course playing out Adoption’s coming mass

It is the future of that broken child in vast poetries woken at last

It is me waking up from the Court’s black shock and legal anesthetic gas

It is also a place where Paris therapist’s empathies came to lend a hand

It is a restoring of tears and events past a post-traumatic razor land

It is my my father, my mother , my loves and losses taking a stand

It is my howling of hearts and parts and bringing it safely to tales

It is where I hold hands with all persecuted types and Christian’s nails

I will only bring you a child’s truth and live in the personal skin of it

This is my May happy dog, stationary horse , my last bucket kit

This is brokenness for all my kind living on instability blood tipped

A Breakspeare of tears and a hand for loss where tragedy has ripped