Sunshine Coast artist turns tragedy into art: 'My heart is so full'

Candice Purcell
Candice Purcell Photo: TikTok

Candice Purcell is used to customers commissioning her art, but when a mother grieving a stillborn baby boy approached her recently it was for something she had never done before.

Purcell is well known on TikTok for her beautiful artwork, particularly her lifelike beach scenes.

"The mother found me on TikTok and asked if I would be comfortable doing something along the lines of my usual beach scene pieces and have her sons ashes within the sand," Purcell told Essential Baby.

"It was completely her idea, but in the end she let me create what I thought would work perfectly."

@candicepurcellart

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Purcell, who confessed she was "very nervous" at the thought of messing it up, carefully mixed baby Leslie's ashes in with the beach sand, then created the waves using layers of resin to give it a 3D effect.

Admitting it was an emotional experience, Purcell said she wanted to create something special for the woman to remember her son by.

The artist mixed the ashes in with beach sand.

The artist mixed the ashes in with beach sand. Photo: TikTok

"I really felt like I connected with her son," she explained. "I really just wanted to create the most beautiful piece of art that the mother was able to cherish forever."

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Purcell shared her the artwork to TikTok, posting the creation process where it now has over 12 million views, received 1.8 million likes, almost 8,500 comments and 16,000 shares.

TikTok users were in awe of the artwork, many commenting on how beautiful the idea was and saying they'd love to do the same.

Photo: TikTok

Photo: TikTok Photo: TikTok

"I love this," one woman wrote. 'I have my mums ashes at home and after six years I still don't know what to do with them and then I see this."

"This is stunning," agreed another. "What a beautiful tribute to her son."

Since the video went up last week, the artist said she's had many people reach out to her, asking for her to turn their loved one's ashes in artwork.

The final product.

The final product. Photo: TikTok

"I definitely felt like my heart was so full," she said.

"To be able to be given that chance [to create that for her] was a lifelong memory I'll keep forever."