Recent and buiding evidence has shown how we are all running on timed patterns of rising and falling neurochemicals. Our hormones, our neurotransmitters, our insulin sensitivity are likely following a set rhythm. From there you can imagine how our levels of fatigue and motivation and anxiety, to name a few parameters, are interacting in a highly integrated way. I was amazed to see recent evidence of why we have that 2-3pm slump of concentration. It seems a part of our brain is basically running low on dopaminergic stimulation. As an ADHD psychiatrist, it’s relevant to the timing of medication. Looking at things from a distance, you see a stunning array of criss-crossing lines. Now we back to one of the central motifs of my art for many years : the Lattice. It’s a motif of imagery that captures so much of the aesthetic side of our understanding of the sciences.
My friend today saw my old portrait of Donnie Darko in my abstraction about Dread. I love that this is possible in people who actually care enough and look at paintings. Then again, he was recovering in hospital on pain medications, so….hmmmm
This series of paintings is quite personal to me. Without overstating it, a friend of mine has needed multiple surgeries following a hit and run crime against him while riding his bike to work one morning. I have watched him from the first days in hospital (just out of ICU) all the way to watching him work out despite pain.
So, the experience has raised again the nature of illness and recovery as a theme for me. Other related themes include pain as a barrier, the role of the will, family dynamics around a near death experience and the reality of life with the remnants of an injury.
As an artist, all I can do is to paint and draw etc. I have done that. What I wanted to point out is that it’s the process of recovering most visible to the eye. Thus, the painting was a process…washed and re-washed until it finally settled. What is at the end of a big-hearted determination to recover is….a bigger heart. Green in my palette is the healing colour too.
There are some pessimistic or “realist” philosophers who warn us that life is full of hardships. Did they mention the modern medical matrix in which the self exists in a world between medical interventions, diagnoses and treatments of varying resemblance to mediaeval tortures? Ofcourse I am exaggerating. Or amI? Not sure. Never liked blood so I may be biased.
Surgery is one of the most interventionist kinds of treatment. A mixture of pain and the possibility of relatively quick relief. It seems to come in stages. This series of paintings goes from contemplating surgery to recovery and return to wellness. This is a good luck story.
Dedicated to JG.