When I was two years old, my father went into the woods with the intention of never coming back.
For almost 20 years, my parents chose silence about his suicidal attempt. And still, I found myself drawn to the place where the incident happened and on its anniversary a wave of grief washed over me. When my parents finally decided to tell me, it all started to make sense.
This is not a story about a suicide attempt. This is about the impossibility of secrets, about what we are sharing when we hide. This is about pain inflicted out of love, about the complexity of silence, and the unexplainable sadness of a boy.
Mum, Dad, this is your trauma, that you kept wrapped up in countless colorful blankets and yet unknowingly handed over to me in a loving embrace.
I will carry it with care.
about the artist
Peter Pflügler is a visual storyteller originally from Austria, living in the Netherlands. His work revolves around the dynamics of secrets, intergenerational trauma and silence.