A 2017 exhibition at Brooks School in North Andover, MA, curated by Peter and featuring art by his daughter, Elisif, who died from an unintentional overdose in 2014.
On view in 2017 at the Brooks School’s Robert Lehman Art Center and curated by Peter, Spider’s Soliloquy features art by a young woman who at one time seemed like many young people today: accomplished, well-liked, outwardly confident and well-adjusted. But Elisif’s healthy appearance belied a hidden world of discomfort and insecurity, one where substances were at first balm, and then a problem.
Exhibition labels by Peter accompanying Elisif’s art describe her troubled path from addiction to death at age 24, and draw links to themes of Brooks School’s All Community Read that year, Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go.
In addition to speaking in classrooms as part of the project and to the entire school community (see a video of his talk), Bruun worked with students from the school’s mental health awareness club to create an evening of performing arts and conversation in the art gallery. Before an audience of more than one hundred students and adults, a dozen students sang, danced, and shared writing and art about mental health distress, opening up conversation on topics so often muted in schools.