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.
Kinga Szczypińska’s first illustration is for this story:
When my sister was only five years old, I nine years old, she developed high fevers for several days. She also complained of pain in her neck behind her ears. The doctors discovered there were sacs of pus behind her ears, but the cause was mysterious. They kept draining them, and they kept coming back. Her fevers continued, she grew weaker and weaker. It was a mystery. My mother prayed, and lit prayers to our Saints every day, mostly St Jude. One doctor finally discovered she had an illness called ‘cat scratch fever’, a very rare illness. The doctors were then able to heal her, and today she is 17 years old. I don’t believe that she would have survived if not for God and the Saints hearing our prayers.
Could your gratitude inspire a votive? Tell us your story, and it could form the basis for an illustration.