Before my dad, French artist Bernard Tardieu, experienced a stroke in 2013 his life revolved around two things.
One, talking to people. Strangers, friends, people he’d just met, potential customers, it didn’t matter, he loved to communicate.
Two, drawing and painting. He’d devoted his life to it.
So when a stroke robbed him of these two things (he suffered severe aphasia – an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write – and partial paralysis of his right side, as a consequence of the stroke), well maybe you can imagine what it is to suddenly lose all you’ve ever cared for.
There was one thing he still took to heart though: ‘Creation’, the picture he’d completed only weeks before his stroke. A depiction of the Big Bang and the evolution of the species, from the very first living cells to humans as we know them.
Getting this picture known, seen, settled itself at the back of my mind. But you know how life is… It takes over. Projects closer to your heart take a back seat to pressing matters or at least things that feel like it.
Then, in 2017, I had a sudden inspiration: Twitter. My dad had had a bad year with consecutive falls and hospitalisations. I decided to post the picture on Twitter as a last ditch attempt.
Things got a bit crazy from there: in less than 48 hours the tweet went viral (17K RTs, 24K Likes!). People reached out from all over the world to tell me how much they loved the picture, how they related to the story of what had happened to my dad.
Seeing so much love for ‘Creation’ I decided to explore how to get it printed and made available to all the people who had fallen in love with it.
A few months later, after finding a photographer, a printer, bringing the picture to the UK then back to France, we have fabulous A1 prints and a project: bring this unique piece of art to 500 schools. For every bought copy of ‘Creation’, one school (or children’s hospital, hospice or home) will receive one FREE poster. So that my father’s work LIVES as it should, being a subject of wonder and joy for thousands of children.
Will you be part of it?
More info: tardieugraveurs.com
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