20″ W x 16″ H
Acrylic on Wood
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
This body of work began as visual prayers for our daughter with a rare genetic disorder. In my seeking to understand her physical condition and come to terms with the reality presented, I was drawn into the study of neurons and neuro-genesis. I grew intrigued by the beautiful complexity of the human mind and its ability to re-circuit itself around inflicted damage by creating new pathways. So much potential, transformative power and hope resides in these miniscule neurons working in the deepest recesses of our being.
Through creating on my daughter’s behalf, I came to realize that not only I, but all of us, have parts of our minds untapped and/or in desperate need of restoration. Vital to the transformation process is adopting new ways of thinking and living, much like a songbird which has been proven to possess the unique ability of regenerating neural pathways when learning new seasonal songs.
Renewing our minds can begin by heeding the encouragement to take every thought captive. We have the power to reclaim our thought life by practicing the simple, yet profound, discipline of being aware of even the smallest of notions and its influence to either lead us down a pathway of chaos and despair or life-giving peace and hope.
Interested in hearing more about my journey with the neuron series? Then check out this written interview featured in the online magazine, Voyage ATL.