Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don’t see a different purpose for it now.” Dorothea Tanning
It’s been a few months since my last post and the world is looking brighter. The vaccine is here and COVID-19 is being defeated. As I look back at this year of COVID, I see how art has played a part in my healing journey and has helped me cope with all the changes that has transpired during the pandemic.
In my early 20's, as a victim of sexual abuse and rape, my therapist guided me in using art as a way to heal. I filled an entire art portfolio with my pain and sadness over being victimized as a child and as a teen. It was healing and therapeutic for me. Instead of lashing out at myself or others, I put it all on paper. As a result, my therapist borrowed my portfolio to show to clients and interns to show how art can heal.
I used this past experience to help me cope with the pandemic. Writing and blogging has helped me focus, heal, and again put my frustrations out on paper rather than hurt others, or engage in destructive behaviors.
A few months back, my husband and I visited the Vladimir Kush gallery. We were inspired at his use of metaphorical imagery to express his feelings of feeling imprisoned out of his will. Painting after painting expressed this, and I was able to relate to the feelings invoked of being controlled by a virus and of dealing with oppressive times.
I think the world has collective PTSD over COVID and what it has taken from us. Through the year, I’ve seen the political angst, and how people turned on each other and themselves .
The simple task of putting pen to paper, color to canvas, expression through song, poetry, dance, exercise, or yoga can help us all heal.
Over the past few years, especially this year, I have watched my own siblings put pen to paper writing poetry, designing beautiful book covers, and moving creatively through martial arts and physical activity. They have practiced yoga, trained and taught others, and used social media to express resistance, to fight against oppression, and to use creative expression to inspire good rather than evil.
Art has the power to heal. Some of the greatest works of music, painting, literature and dance were done under duress and turbulent times. Who can forget Anne Frank's diary or Elie Weisel’s Night? Put pen to paper, paint to canvas, music to dance, and voice to song. You will embark on the greatest journey of your life.
Here are some links to individuals who have used art as a way to speak out and heal:
**I do not own the rights to these photographs and works of art**