Reclamation

2020

20″ W x 16″ H

Acrylic on Wood

SOLD

This painting is part of a creative collaboration series involving the gathering of testimonies from  individuals who have, or still are, enduring some sort of neurological challenge. Each piece of art represents a person’s description of how their cognitive impairment feels and affects their ability to thrive and connect to the world around them.  Creating art in response to these stories is my way of advocating and coming alongside each, giving a voice and platform for sharing such personal experiences, knowing they can validate and encourage so many who have experienced the same, or provide a valuable resource for further study and treatment.

This painting was in response to the first interview with a friend courageously sharing her experience of and recovery from a spontaneous brain bleed. The image represents the transition phase of healing and recovery – the reality of the bloodshed, foggy confusion, and hopeful pursuit of some sort of peace and order again. This neuron is caught in the throes of the healing process, turbulent yet progressive, with its fight for new life coming from its bright, light-filled center.

Hidden throughout are hummingbirds which have a unique neural process allowing them to take in visual information from all sides at an amazing rate of speed. They are depicted bound, but in the process of being loosed to pursue openings of blue sky and life once again in wider spaces.

About the Neuron Series

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.  This series of paintings has been inspired by the journey my family has walked alongside our daughter who has special needs. In coming to better understand and embrace this reality, I never expected 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 make each of us unique. There is an unfathomable complexity in the human mind down to the detail of one miniscule neuron; this I find so very ironic with the reality that we as humans are also only dust.

Further study into the life and death of neurons and the concept of neuro-genesis leaves me amazed and hopeful with the mind’s ability to re-circuit itself in order to overcome inflicted damage.  It has been discovered that even 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.

Through creating this series, I have been reminded that we all have parts of our minds that are untapped and/or in desperate need of healing and redemption. These areas of dysfunction, some more visible than others, require deep restoration. 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  developed into a plea for the slumbering areas of my own mind to awake as well, imparting to both of us a new song.