It was a beautiful accident that I discovered oil paints at the exact point when my health crashed with fibromyalgia. This meant that, just as I was about to embark on a journey towards regaining my health, I was also setting off on a parallel journey in search of whatever it was that inspired me as an artist.
As I traveled further along this road, sampling various healing modalities and learning how to expand my own awareness in order to assist my own recovery, I became increasingly conscious that energy is absolutely everything. That is, thoughts and intentions are energy, objects are (slower moving) energy, we all exist as part of an energetic universe in which all things are intricately connected by energy; something my journey back towards health and wholeness demonstrated to me, over and over again, in many countless ways. When we ‘see’ something, there is so much more going on that what our eyes take in and, when an artist paints their intention, they energetically connect with the viewer as well as connecting that viewer with an aspect of whatever it is that inspired them to create. I discovered that when that inspiration came in the form of a light-infused subject, a moment of intense radiance, an experience of time seeming to stand still in the glow of its own serenity, those experiences could be felt through the artwork and could be transformative or even healing.
I discovered also that subjects such as these hold a particular vibration, a frequency, that can be felt by others and which can uplift them or even activate their own positive experiences; triggering epiphanies and expansion. This frequency is conveyed through a visual language that relies on balance, beauty and light, visual cues that we all know how to read because they are already ‘out there’ in nature, instinctively read by us from the moment we are born and capable of lifting our souls whenever we choose to tune into them. As such, the visual arts are able to tap into the broadest ‘unseen’ realms of experience using what is seeable as a prompt to the eyes, a reminder that activates memory and even healing. If my own experiences are to be believed then, at the very core of this shared universal ‘language’ of wellbeing and healing is ‘light’; the most central preoccupation of my art.
If my own crashing health had felt like an experience of fragmentation, of profound disintegration, then moments of light intensity seemed to serve as a reminder of the very return to ‘wholeness’ that I sought. Even before I noticed the theme, my early work started to look like a deliberate exploration of this motif of a journey back towards unity, typically conveyed as those moments of supreme intensity and radiance (at first, my subjects included a great many sunsets) when all the diverse colour and contrast, the hard lines and structure of physicality begin to soften and fragment, then to draw back into their co-creation of the full-spectrum white light that is at the source of everything. In those fleeting moments of intensity, it is as though the oneness, the one source, that underlies everything in creation is made overtly – if temporarily – visible to the eye. This is something that I found I loved to play with, not least through the theme of light streaming in through the ‘hard edged, man-made boundaries’ that are windows, dissolving those structures until the separation between inside and out is no longer so apparent. It taught me something else that proved to be so important to my own recovery; that, in order to return to this state of completeness, wholeness, unity and light, it had been entirely necessary to, first, soften and fragment…just as I had watched happen in nature, time and time again. In other words, my own health ‘crash’ had been the gift that had broken me down in order to help me reformat myself in an altogether more cohesive and inclusive way.
[This post is an extract from my updated Biography on www.helenwhite.org]