January 11, 2013
Joshua & Candis Marshall (Photo: Makario Gibson)
Four-year-old Joshua and his mother Candis Marshall are more than excited about their first joint fine art photography exhibition.
Last night marked the opening of “Dieing To Be Beautiful: A Conversation Between A Mother And Son Through Photography After His Near Death Experience” at the Hillside House Gallery on Cumberland Street.
Since he was nine months, Joshua has been a brain box, learning at a rate parents barely dream their children can learn. His mother said he would stay up late at night watching CNN, BBC and Bloomberg, just absorbing the information and letting the stories consume him. Candis was inspired by her son, who she said "had so much insight into life" and loved visiting the Bahamas National Trust and experiencing nature.
Shortly after he turned one, he was diagnosed with epilepsy and according to Candis, each seizure seemed to take a little away from him in terms of his abilities. "We would have to re-teach him to do certain things," she said. It came to a point where she was afraid that one day a seizure would just wipe his slate clean. By the end of that year, her worst fears nearly came true.
Joshua experienced a major seizure that affected his speech and coordination and his ability to communicate. Though his mind was still processing at the same rate, he could not convey his thoughts and needs the way he had become accustomed. "That experience changed our lives," said the single mother.
At the time, Candis owned a beauty supply store, which she decided to sell because she realized that life was not about money or surviving, but rather about living and experiencing life.
She sold her business and used the money, along with grants and scholarships, to pay off Joshua's medical bills and her divorce. She then applied for her second Self Starter grant in order to become a photographer and professional artist.
It was through photography that Candis found a way for her son to communicate. With his camera, Joshua would take a photograph of what he wanted to say and after a while, he learned how to explain the photograph and what he was trying to convey.