The Drowning Man was my culminating project for my OAC/ Grade 13 Art class. I hadn’t taken any previous high school art classes. I presented a portfolio to the Art teacher and made an argument for being able to do the Grade 13 Art class without having taken any prerequisites. I was accepted. Over the years, my Mom has repeatedly asked me what kind of thoughts an 18 year old would be having to create this. She worries that she missed signs of depression. As part of the project I wrote an explanation that has since disappeared but I remember that the Drowning Man is actually about hope. One hand is under the water trying to save himself and the other hand is reaching up for someone else to help him. Even though only his mouth and the tip of his nose are above water, he has not given up.
~ Kaja Montgomery