To accompany our current exhibition ‘Infinitas Gracias: Mexican miracle paintings‘, we’ve been working with professional illustrators to produce contemporary votive illustrations based on stories submitted by visitors to Wellcome Collection and to our website. Just as Mexican ex-voto paintings were made by painters to tell stories of thanks, we want to hear contemporary stories of gratitude and explore the process of exchange between storyteller and illustrator.
Becki Hiscocks’ first votive illustration is for this story submitted at Wellcome Collection:
I began to feel breathless, coughing up white frothy phleghm, having migraines and feeling faint. I thought I was just out of shape and joined a gym – till eventually after almost collapsing there and having an echocardiogram, they discovered I had an irregular heartbeat, dilated cardiomyopathy (a stretched heart) and a big clot inside in that could break off and cause a heart attack or stroke. I was in hospital where my life hung in the balance for about three weeks, then when I came out I could hardly walk for months. I was getting ready to be disabled for the rest of my life, until doctors tried some new drugs and I could walk again. Now I have an internal cardiac defibrillator and have to take tablets every day to keep me alive, but I’m slowly improving and managed recently to walk Hadrian’s Wall (quite slowly)!
Richard Tyrone Jones, 2009–2010. For all the staff of the Royal Free Hospital and those in biomedical science who developed my drugs and defibrillator.
Could your gratitude inspire a votive? Tell us your story, and it could form the basis for an illustration.