Art as Healer
I have often shared how when the pandemic first hit us a year ago, creating new art felt superfluous and in the beginning of it, I felt stuck and with a dash of a creative block. I questioned what the role of an artist should be during a crisis as extraordinary as the one we were going through; when science, politics, and the economy seemed to be the only topics relevant to the health crisis. I concluded that I wanted art for when the pandemic was over, but I also needed it to keep me focused on the light at the end of the tunnel, in the long stretch of this uncertain experience. Thus, I did what I am passionate about, I spent my time in the studio, experimenting with my paints and creating new images, while meditating on the weight of this new reality.
While painting, I reflected on the emotions that the overall uncertainty and the fatality of the virus was bringing to me and my loved ones. Layer after layer of colors and textures, I produced a series of paintings that include “Breaking Free II”, depicting biomorphic shapes that could be thought of as islands, maps or cells of organisms, indicative of my scientific background permeating into my artistic tendencies, and accentuated by the blasting of scientific news. By adding a variety of mark-making, these shapes seem to be adapting to internal or external factors that pollute or alter their nature. I like to think that I am connecting this duality micro/macro in my imagery -- cells of organisms/maps & islands -- as metaphors for the lability of Life and of our individual reality.
Nurturing my creativity has been a road map to resilience and to healing during these uncertain days. Moreover, through my art I have kept rooted and connected to souls alike whom I have inspired with my creations or who have inspired me. Kindred souls who reside in many corners of the world and whom, thanks to the beauty of virtual communication, I was able to connect to and get to know and make friends with. I am convinced that art has a ripple effect of bringing happiness and hope in times when despair and hopelessness could instead take over our minds.
I feel honored that “Breaking Free II” was recently accepted in a thoughtful and inspiring virtual exhibit at the Belmont Gallery of Art; ART HEALS: Transforming Ourselves + Our World, juried by guest curator Elaine Hawkes and codirectors Adine Storer and Rebecca Richards. The wealth of talent, creativity, vision, and love of the artists featured in the exhibit is breathtaking. I hope you can visit the exhibit at this link, on view until the end of May.
Image: “Breaking Free II”, oil media on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, available. This painting is on view at the ART HEALS virtual exhibit at the Belmont Gallery of Art that is on view until the end of May. Feel free to browse through my website if you are interested in my artworks. If you have questions, please contact me here.