This drawing (detail) is based on the theme of, 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,' (a story written by E.T.A. Hoffmann, in 1816). In Hoffmann's story, a young girl's favorite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom populated by dolls.
In my interpretation, the battle is not won but lost. The Nutcracker (representing me in some way) screams on endlessly, helpless to save the now broken doll (my mum) as she succumbs to attack and is destroyed.
As I set up this still-life, other toys began to represent members of my family. The battling robot, with its strong arms, characterized my father. The kneeling girl doll with the long hair and fighting the attacking rat so hard, personified my sister. The little bear expressed elements of my brother.
The faceless rat toys I had made during my mum's illness, now become the attacking force within the still-life, representing for me the destructive force and terrifying nature of cancer.