While in Germany at The Art Factory, I have finally had the mental and physical space needed to embark on a new art series. I wrote a post earlier this year about how I had been wrestling with a developing concept for nearly two years; ‘Permission to Ruminate’. The series of paintings now evolving over the last few months has been inspired by the journey we have walked with our daughter who has special needs.
Whenever finding myself in foreign surroundings, I am provoked to create. This doesn’t only have to do with geographical location but also life situations. Since coming to terms with the reality of our daughter’s condition, I have embarked on a new and different kind of artistic inspiration. I am not the scientific type, however, in order to better understand the challenges our daughter faces, I have been researching the science of the brain. Never did I expect to become so intrigued by the complexity and beauty of the human mind.
I have been amazed to learn that everything we think and feel and do is nearly impossible without the work of neurons and their communication with each other. These neural connections are what makes each of us unique. There is an unfathomable complexity in the human mind down to the very detail of one miniscule neuron; this I find so very ironic with the reality that we as humans are also only dust.
Knowing that our daughter’s condition has affected the functionality of her mind, I have taken to further researching the life and death of these neurons and the concept of neurogenesis. How amazing and encouraging to learn that the mind has been created with the ability to re-circuit itself in order to overcome inflicted damage.
My artwork has become a series of visual prayers, requests for God to not only usher in a physical transformation of my daughter’s mind, provoking life inducing neurological stimulation, but a plea for Him to do the same spiritually to mine as well. I was led to the scripture in God’s word that speaks of the transformation of the mind, being reminded that we all have parts of our minds that are untapped and/or in desperate need of healing and redemption. We are all somewhere in our own journey of transformation whether aware or not. And, we all have areas of dysfunction, some more visible than others, that require deep restoration.
In addition to these findings becoming a basis for the series unfolding, I have come across the scientific discovery that songbirds have the unique ability to lay down neuron pathways in their brains when learning new songs. By changing these songs seasonally, the regeneration of neurons is encouraged. If God designed the mind of a bird, the simple creature that it is, to have the ability to create new neurons just to remember and learn new songs, is He not able and willing to also do this among us? “Are you not much more valuable than they?”
Part of the transformation process is the intentional learning of new ways of thinking and living. What began as a way to understand, cope and hope for the healing of my daughter’s mind, has further developed into a plea for God to wake the slumbering areas of my mind as well, imparting to each of us a new song.