New Keohane-Kenan Gallery exhibit explores grief and loss

The Kenan Institute for Ethics has welcomed Duke graduate student Colleen Pesci as the latest artist to be featured in the Keohane-Kenan Gallery, located on the first floor of the West Duke Building on East Campus.

Pesci’s exhibit, titled “Dear Companion,” takes an intimate look at grief and loss. The series features diptychs of letters from surviving twins addressed to their twin who has passed, paired with an object that acts as a representation of the memory of their twin.

One letter features a single feather alongside a handwritten note addressed from one twin, Susan, to her late brother, Michael.

To select objects to match letters, Pesci interpreted correspondences, then built and photographed each item to represent the path of a memory shared. The letters address the pain of each surviving twin by offering a window into the complexity of grief and healing.

“A month after my twin Michael was suddenly gone,” the display explains, “this beautiful bird came tapping at my window for several minutes and returned multiple times over the next month. Its message clear to me – ‘I am at Peace. Love Never Dies.”

Dear Companion will be on-display through March 6. It’s open to the public during normal business hours on weekdays.