Saturday, May 19, 2012


I'm talking about my art at the second DAC North Wales launch event
I have now given my two talks for the Disability Arts North Wales launch events. It was interesting to hear some viewpoints and especially the North Wales field officer Gareth Foulkes has inspiring ideas that resonate with my own. I have to say that I'm pretty overwhelmed with thoughts on the matter and it will take me a while to process it all. The talk I gave was a brief history of my own disability and how it runs parallel to my art. But I think that later in time I would probably focus more on my present concerns about visualizing the reality of invisible illness and the politics attached to it. 

I wanted to describe why I became so interested in paradoxes back in the past and why I still feel they are important in my work, and why a paradox can be easier to express in images rather than in a text. However I didn't have time to go too deeply into this nor did I feel that my thoughts were mature enough. On top of it all I've been dealing with a virus that takes about two months to clear. Thoughts are brewing though. 
Two sides of one coin - one cold and unfriendly, the other warm and inviting.
In this piece "Those Who Wait Will Be Rewarded" (1999) the two realities are interlocking.
There is also the obvious contrast between the blue of space and coolness,
and the yellow of the sun with the well rooted tree.
This piece was bought by a psychotherapist.
The paradoxes I'm talking about are the ones that linked with dualism. Our world is dual, or to be more exact, our minds perceive of reality as dual. There's high and low, light and dark, night and day, cold and warm, feminine and masculine, good and evil, disabled and able-bodied... We always feel that we have to choose sides, it's part of the human condition. Think of Yin and Yang... always mutating from one to the other, forever changing and thus not being constants. This is how things are in this world. Think for instance how ability can quickly change into disability, and the other way around (though nothing is simple so most disabilities are not 100% curable). Mentally, we are always in favour of one thing and against another - I'm talking about anything in life, anything you can take a stand against. It doesn't have to be so fierce though. In fact evolution of consciousness happens when people give up certain preferences that has kept them in a state of conflict and get on with something else. Without realizing it they have most likely thus embraced the paradox that both sides of the coin are just as valid. They have transcended a pair of opposites and arrived at a new synthesis.

This idea could be of some importance within the Disability Arts movement and its cause; the prioritization of health over illness and ability over disability are at the bottom of the conflicts that cause discrimination towards the disabled part of society. If authorities were able to see that these ways of being are just two sides of the same coin then perhaps they were more likely to be accepting and understanding of the value of equality. And this equality is not a bland "we are all the same" which runs parallel with the gender issues society experiences - i.e. in reality men and women are not the same nor should they strive to be alike, but they should have the same rights. These rights are not the same for everybody either. It's a common misconception that equality equals equal rights. It's not the rights that need to be equal or the same, but the fact of having rights in the first place. 

We live in times of great individualization, so it should be evident that the individual's rights has to be made to measure. We can no longer bunch people together and stamp the box with one label. Everyone has different needs. I know it's a tough issue for the authorities to consider, as there are always pressing issues of a financial nature. Making this into a more humane society should still be the priority. Of course there is a way if there is a will. It's not a humane society that is increasingly making cuts which in turn make disabled people even more isolated, stigmatized and anxious about survival. 

One should be allowed to relax into one's disability and be who one really is, rather than try and keep up with the more able bodied people. One should be allowed to make one's own stamp on society, in one's own way. If there is one thing we can learn from disabled people and artists in particular, it's that the individual contribution that these people often offer in creative terms when they are no longer able to do what other people are doing, is truly special. Paradoxically, their achievements are often windows to a unique experience of life because they may have the motivation, time or lack of options that leads them to engage in something much more interesting than what they did before. 

Often, limitations give us the incentive to do something in a way we wouldn't have considered under normal circumstances. They also tends to stimulate creativity as long as the subject is not too hampered by pain, fatigue and poverty. I also maintain that the suffering experienced by a chronically ill person can give rise to a great deal of wisdom, if they are willing to learn from adversity. This wisdom in turn can enhance their compassion, which can only be a useful thing in a world that needs to connect more with the heart and the idea that we are truly in this together. Obviously not everyone has the ability to adher to such a mindset but some do, and they can offer a valuable contribution to society. Ultimately, however, equality means that it doesn't matter if everyone makes a contribution or not. If you truly embrace the world view that sees reality as a whole rather than disjointed, separate bits, then you understand that we all deserve to be treated with the same respect for who we are. It's hard to grasp but deep down most of us are aware that human lives have an intrinsic value that you cannot argue. In reality it's one of those questions that no one can argue, because the idea is beyond mental analysis - only our hearts can tell us that this is true.

On a personal level, we can be vulnerable/weak and strong/assertive at the same time, i.e. in a state of paradox. Change and imbalance is at the bottom of our life experience, but we are forever striving towards balance because of a need to get to terms with life. Being a living contradiction is normal. If people could understand this, perhaps they would be more accepting of their own life's ups and downs and then ultimately of the ups and downs of other people as well. This is simple psychology; what you accept about yourself you accept about others. So for instance, if a government official accepted that one day he could be weak and vulnerable and sit in a wheelchair, he'd be more likely to support those who already are.  

Martin is helping out. My first piece for Project X is on the stand.

Myself giving talks in Caernerfon and Mold, North Wales (May 2012)
It was cool being sign languaged and transcribed,
but you do sadly realize how expensive it is to provide these services for disabled people.
When will money stop being an object when it comes to human rights?
Gareth Foulkes works for Disability Arts Cymru
as the organisation is luckily now funded through the Arts Council.
Gareth was very inspirational and helps me feel motivated about the "cause".
There are varying ideas about what the disability arts are about. Gareth who is the Disability Arts field officer in the North of Wales is very supportive of the sort of art that I have started to create. He feels that expressing the life experience and perceptions of a disabled person is enriching the art scene, and that it can even make a difference. His point of view is rather political, as (as far as I can see) it's got a lot to do with changing negative perceptions of disabled people through the arts. I think it goes without saying that if a disabled person wants to create art yet is finding this hard because of obstacles that are being put in the way of a disabled person, then this is not necessarily what disability arts is about - it's just disability politics. Both concern me more and more, but in particular I have to think deeply about what I want to say through my art... and even whether it's worth the effort. The hardest part is thinking how one could find ways of communicating ideas of empowerment to those who are afflicted with chronic illness for which there is no cure, and how one can change the general perception healthy people have of the disabled as being useless and unworthy of social support through taxpayer's money. Is it possible to do this through the idea of paradox? Would people be receptive?

Myself in front of "Welsh Theatre" in Mold

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "I'm Not Ready Just Yet",
Handmade collage with photographs, copyright 2012
Here is the latest in my attempts to visualize the helplessness that is often experienced because of a chronic condition. Very often it's a situation that causes the subject to wish they were dead, yet on the other hand there is usually a will to live at the back of this person's mind that is in deep conflict with the suffering they are going through.

This is a cross post from my spiritual blog but I felt that it would be appropriate to post here in the context of disability arts. The reason I'm working on Project X is that I want to talk openly about suffering and its implications.

I claim that it's not a very spiritual thing to say that suffering is pointless and that we should all just shape up. It's easy to condemn suffering. It's easy to say that nothing can be gained from suffering. It's easy to say that seeing anything useful in suffering is dwelling on negativity. However to me these are catch phrases that people throw about when they think they are soon going to be enlightened. i.e. in my view it's not necessarily an informed point of view. It's a view point that is assuming that if you do everything right, i.e. by the book, then you'll be illuminated and wisdom will follow. I'm not saying it's untrue, but it's wishful thinking and many of us have a lot to deal with in the real world before we can consider any such satorical state of being. I also feel a bit disgruntled when I hear this kind of view since it excludes the richness of human experience in favour of some hypothetical spiritual bliss that may or may not arrive at some point in the future. Of course I'm only guessing here as I have heard this kind of talk before, and it's usually been connected to the self-developmental stages that come in the very beginning of the spiritual quest. 

I do need to think clearly about what I want to say through "Project X" which is my art project about invisible illness and its place in society. The point is not to dwell on negativity and suffering, but to show it clearly so that people can recognize it and accept that it exists. I also want to offer optimistic points of view, but am not quite sure exactly how I'm going to go about it just yet. The point is, a healing of a whole host of social demeanours related to disabled people can only happen after a collective acceptance of disabled people has taken place. Healthy people have no idea what these people are going through. It's so very easy to dismiss them as negative, when in fact many of them are incredibly courageous and fine human beings. It's a whole other world that needs to be integrated into society. At the moment it isn't. And things have only gotten worse since the right winged (tories) have been in power. As Ken Wilber pointed out, their point of view is that these individuals have only themselves to blame and it's up to them to fix their own problems. One tory just said "stop moaning and work harder" in public - this is supposed to be helpful in such dire times of financial crisis. It's horrid and simplistic. Many disabled people are being forced to work when they really don't have the ability to go out to do a job on specific hours every day, and others who are healthy are not finding any jobs. My husband and I are trying to be creative but there is only so much we can do. We also try not to focus too much on lack, but it's difficult not to when it stares you in your face on a daily basis. It takes super human powers just to stay reasonably balanced in a world that's as volatile as this one - for a disabled person it's so much more work. 

To tell a disabled person that their suffering is not of any use could be disastrous. I'm sure many of them don't think of their suffering as being meaningful. They are often the ones with the greatest depression. Of course disability doesn't necessarily have to imply suffering, but I think it's rare and often a case of either mild disability or a truly enlightened state of being. We all need some feeling of meaning, purpose and hope. It doesn't matter that much how we gain it. I think that any way is a good way if it helps a particular individual to get through the day with a sense of achievement and self-esteem. Sometimes life is really mostly about physical and emotional survival. Even I have trouble to take the spiritual point of view into account on a regular basis. It used to be much easier, during the "honey moon phase". I was single, I was a student at University... life was not so complicated back then in spite of having to do a lot of inner work. More than anything, there was time, as well as constant reminders due to the nature of my studies at Uni (comparative religion). I also had plenty of friends who were spiritual seekers. The situation has changed radically. 

So why is my situation changed? Perhaps it's for a reason. I'm learning new things. There's a whole other emotional dimension added due to the fact that I'm now married. There is also the Arts, and the Disability Arts community. This is my work now. I believe that wisdom can be had from suffering - it may not be ultimate wisdom but it's an understanding about the human condition which may well be why many of us are here in the first place. It's understanding the nature of suffering and what it means to other people as well. How does one accept limitations in oneself as well as in others? One can't have the latter without the former. Suffering can germinate greater compassion and humility. I say these are noble reasons for going through a lot of difficult challenges. I don't even want life to be too easy, as it would be boring and pointless. I admit that I would prefer life to be getting a bit easier as I'm getting older, I'm middle aged and my health is never going to be fantastic. I would appreciate some happier times. But I know I can't have that until I have learnt some fundamental lessons about caring for other people. Sure one could opt not to go through any suffering, and one may even be a good human being. But how likely is that? I am not interested in being a selfish bastard even if I was an enlightened one!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Hugo Simberg: Wounded Angel, 1903
A Finnish Symbolist painter.

This image can, among other things, be seen as depicting the dichotomy between ideals 
connected with other worldly matters and the reality we face in our daily lives.


When I started out as an artist, the way I best felt I could express my views was through the use of universal and personal symbols. I had a desire to make every bit of my art meaningful and my messages quite specific, and so preferred to employ a symbolic language. In an image, the first and foremost mode of expression is the immediate visual impact - it defines whether you want to stay with the picture or not. I do feel, however, that once you feel intrigued by it because it makes sense to you aesthetically, it also needs to carry meaning that you can relate to. This meaning can reveal itself through a conscious analysis, or a more subconscious process. All the elements in the work obtain a semiotic quality when their subjective and objective being-in-the-world are highlighted simultaneously. There are many ways in which we understand art work, but it seems to me that conceptual art often operates on a fairly shallow level of meaning that mainly stems from rational analysis - it may be relevant as a mirror of our time, but it's also one that comes today and is gone tomorrow. It seems to me that symbols have the greatest universal appeal to humans over time. I want to express myself succinctly and symbols present themselves as the best way in which I can do so. Read more about the actual process of making symbolic art HERE. The following is a discussion about the value of symbols.


You may ask what the point in using symbolism to convey a message through art really is. Those who are familiar with art history know that Symbolism is a movement that started up with the paintings of Gustave Moreau around 1860 but was deemed useless and out of date by the beginning of the First World War. It was a movement that was mainly concerned with the other worldly, and to a surprisingly high degree was linked with Catholicism. Some symbolists were interested in esoteric world views, and wanted to convey these beliefs through their art as has traditionally been done in religious art. These artists felt that the best way of conveying their view of a more spiritual realm was through the use of symbols as it was a way of pointing towards realities that you couldn't otherwise describe. Many artists were, however, not necessarily expressing very complex truths. In simple terms, this artistic genre came about as a reaction against the industrial upswing and a wide spread interest in realistic art as social commentary. The war crushed a lot of idealism and made introspective and solipsist art seem self-indulgent - the art that followed was mostly socially orientated. 

Nothing in art history is, however, straightforward and subject to a strict chronological time line. When it comes to symbolism, it pops up here and there in various forms and for various reasons. In the modern era, artists often use symbols without making much of a point of it. You find it in all genres of art. Various forms of fantasy art are alive and well, and some of these artists of the imagination employ symbols to a very high degree. Almost anyone who is interested in investigating the deeper layers of the human psyche or spiritual visions will use symbols. The problem is that this kind of symbolism is often lacking in personality and originality. 

Symbols have always been around in the form of mythology, fairy tales, as well as esoteric and alchemical explorations. These depictions of the human condition and how humans relate to the other worldly have been informative and necessary for the evolution of the human psyche, and there is no reason to believe that this has come to an end. It may seem that cynicism and a fragmentation of spirituality is here to stay, but I don't believe it. Art that expresses such disillusion is not life-affirming and constructive, and is therefore in the long run an unsatisfactory way of dealing with life's deeper issues and the human condition. In the end, the really big questions in life are the ones that live on forever, though our interpretation, experience and way of expressing them evolves over time, becoming more informed and sophisticated.

While the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud paved the way for dream interpretation, his disciple Carl Gustav Jung made a great job in researching the deeper meaning of widely recurring symbols and archetypes. The Depth Psychology that he and others instigated is still inspiring a great many psychotherapists who are interested in the subconscious mind and importance of dreams and archetypes in people's lives. Mythology isn't out dated - myself and many others believe that the human consciousness is constantly creating new myths and ways of story telling that help us come to terms with our lives. While the basic themes remain the same, they are being re-created, no doubt to fit new perspectives and higher levels or orders of collective understanding. I believe that we are constantly aspiring towards higher and more comprehensive levels of comprehension. Though inspired by C G Jung in the past, I am not a Jungian, as I find this strand of psychotherapy somewhat limited to archetypal ideas and dreams. I think a human being is a lot more than just a collection of inner archetypes.

So what are symbols, exactly? According to Wikipedia a symbol is "something that represents an idea, a physical entity or a process but is distinct from it. The purpose of a symbol is to communicate meaning." The way I see it, symbols have levels of meaning. There are symbols that are pretty deep and universal because of our joint collective experience of these elements of life. For instance, a snake represents the other end of evolution, i.e. very primordial or basic instincts and affects. From primordial myths and belief systems we can also see that the meaning is also attached to the universal life force and sexuality. Most people are scared of snakes so in a dream it's usually about feeling threatened by basic instincts such as sexual feelings and related issues.

The same symbols also have a shallow level of meaning which is dictated by cultural meaning and individual experience. A snake may not be threatening to someone who is a snake charmer. Someone who is a Hindu and familiar with theories about the Kundalini force would be more likely to associate the snake with religious beliefs than a Westerner would. Of course, we all know about the "one eyed snake", the male organ, which is yet another reason it tends to be connected to sexuality.

I believe that the best way to learn to understand the language of symbols is by engaging in dream interpretation (you can also study and compare myths). This is no easy task as you have to understand the parts as well as the whole, i.e., how the various elements of the dream (the symbols) relate to one another and what the context of these elements is. You need to reflect upon the associations the symbols offer as well as be able to grasp the overall feel of the dream in an intuitive way. The dream also has to relate to the dreaming person, as one has to distinguish the universal meaning of the symbols from possible individual interpretations. Intuition is truly paramount during this process. The language of symbols is not quite like an ordinary language because it relies so heavily on intuition. You also have to keep in mind, that all the symbols in your dreams associate with aspects of yourself. For instance; familiar people you see in your dreams represent qualities in yourself, and buildings usually (unless you're a gypsy traveller, one would assume) symbolise the different levels of the psyche.

People often say they dreamt about something they saw on TV before going to bed, and this becomes their reason for dismissing the existence of any deeper significance attached to the dream. There's a fallacy in this thinking because you don't dream about something because you saw it on TV, but because what you saw on TV reminded your psyche of something significant that it consequently wanted to resolve through your dream. Nothing in your dream world is haphazard. The key to successful dream interpretation is that you take into account every single aspect of the dream with the understanding that it all makes sense in some deep and significant way. We also tend to remember dreams that really are significant to us, while less important dreams are forgotten. If you're grabbed by a dream, it means it has something to say to you that you may not have realized during waking consciousness. I have personally not found anything terribly revelatory within my own dreams, but that's because I'm very interested in my inner life while I'm awake and so nothing much comes as a surprise. I find that dreams can clarify some issues, though. There is nothing quite like having had a vivid and deeply emotional dream that really tantalizes your imagination, points to great potential, and promotes contemplation about your life situation...

In order to get your imagination going, you might like to consult a book on dream interpretation. Books cannot explain everything for you and it's very important that you choose your book well! A good Jungian style book (E.g. The New Dream Dictionary by Toni Crisp) can give you ideas and impulses, and thus aid the process of understanding the way your psyche functions and what it's communicating to you.

I'm quite a literal person, and I like to communicate in a precise way. Creating images and soundscapes is a personal challenge in this respect. While pictures say more than a thousand words, and this vastness of meaning is sometimes hard for me to embrace, I also like for them to be subject to a rather literal interpretation. I don't see a contradiction in terms here, nor do I have any problem with the fact that some people will prefer to take in my images without the involvement of intellectual analysis. Others will be interested in a semantic interpretation. My experience is that both work just as well, and what really matters in the end is what resonates with people, i.e., what people feel attracted to because it mirrors themselves, and it really doesn't matter whether they are aware of the reasons for this feeling. I expect that people recognize the meaning of the symbols I use either intuitively or directly, and that they strike a cord in the attentive audience because of their relatively universal appeal. 

Artistically speaking, I started out by learning the logical language of symbols, and expressing my own inner development and the formation of a world view through symbolic art. I was intensely interested in esoteric view points while I was learning about the basic nature of reality. It was a rewarding time in my life, and I got much positive response from people from all walks of life. But things changed and I started to feel that making art about the tension between the spiritual and mundane was limited. There is work to be done in the realm of our day to day life, and I now feel compelled to do what I can to help alter people's perception of those who are marginalized in society. 

Symbols continue to be my preferred way of expression nonetheless. Through symbols I communicate a vision of life and know that it's a visual representation of something that I could also write about if I wanted to. Yet the impact is different and hopefully a more direct way of saying what I want to say. I have recently found that I can also make symbolic sound art. Symbols are endlessly versatile and a visual language based on symbols can be updated to suit a contemporary audience and crucial topics of the modern day.

The two birds and the circle is a variation on a theme of basic symbols 
that recur in all of human history.
The birds could be compared with the Yin and Yang symbol and was my logo for a long time -
 my art is generally speaking about the paradoxes that arise from the inherent dualism of life.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "The Heart's Desire", copyright 2000
I believe our hearts may look something like this.
This was just before muscle spasms made it difficult for me to draw.
I decided not to add to my previous blog post, which is about a specific problem, but write a few words as a follow up. There's a discussion on LinkedIn in response to the article I posted her on my blog at the very end of the last article, but I don't find the viewpoints very clear. One thing seems quite obvious, though, and it's the fact that the big money making names in the art world are domineering the art scene, but also what is being taught in the art schools. You may recall my post about the exhibition I visited in Cardiff - it looked like a graduate show made up of ideas from a text book about conceptual art, and it was very clearly young and immature. There are alternative artists out there, but they don't get very much support as far as I can see. For instance as Martin has been looking for funding, he has found very little that addresses the needs of the individual artist. The funders, especially the Arts Council, are often more interested in supporting events that bring in large audiences so they can count the number of seats that were occupied. The other problem is very obvious; if you do work in 2D you're "passe". This is ridiculous, since human beings will never stop putting their thoughts and feelings onto a flat surface.

Michael Schwartz is a distinguished art critic in the USA who has abandoned the usual contemporary art scene in favour of a more spiritual and uplifting kind of art. I had the honour of having my art seen and written about by him when I was accepted into the integral art gallery at  Here is a video in which he explains "what is so special about integral art". I don't find it very comprehensive but if you're interested you can look up a lot of articles and talks on the site (some of which you have to be a member to see). The art galleries are all available to the public and you'll find that the artists are often very articulate and obviously highly intelligent beings. Although I keep these aspirations and attempts to promote a new kind of art in very high regard, I do sometimes wonder if it's still a bit limiting. These people obviously shun art that only reinforces all that is sick in society. However, they are also adamant about the presence of the "shadow", that darker side of all of us that needs to come into the open so that we can evolve as spiritual beings. What concerns me is that art such as my Project X would not go down well with the integral community because it might be seen as negative. My object is not to dwell on negativity but to inform an audience about the existence of certain problems within society. These problems need addressing very urgently.

I have digitally remastered photos of some of the art I did back in the 1990s. Back then, I was consumed by my research into spiritual matters and Eastern philosophies in particular, but it's also true that there is always a tension in all of my art between what I believe life to be in a deeper sense and the situation I find myself in this particular body, in this particular reality. This tension may be part of the reason why people wanted to buy my art back in the 1990s in Finland. At some point I felt that I had come to the end of my mission to talk so explicitly about what we can be and I thus started to look for an alternative. It took me a good ten years to specify what I felt I had to do. While my disability or issues of marginalization in general were at the back of my art in the 1990s and my spiritual world view was at the forefront, the concerns are now turned around so that invisible illness and similar issues are at the forefront and my spiritual world view is at the back of it all. I feel no urgency to talk about my world view with anyone and therefore I know that it's not my job to do so. 

Michael did say to me that it's not very common for artists to be able to talk about their own art, and that he found me unusually articulate. I enjoyed his interpretation of my art but I'm not sure I want it to be as much about memory as he suggested. I have to say that I often find myself lacking in words and less articulate than I used to (considering I'm a very literal person and sometimes behave in a straightforward, incredulous manner almost as if I had Asperger's syndrome like Saga Noren in "The Bridge"!). Perhaps it's a good thing, perhaps we should not always be able to pick our art apart. After all, a picture or other visual experience is supposed to say more than words can describe. However I was reminded that the bad philosophy I was talking about in my previous blog post also is a problem because artists are being pushed to being verbal and while I personally like a bit of explanation, it's possible to explain art to death. 

I think the pendulum has swung far into two extremes as we now find a contemporary art that is fragmented, contrived and shallow while mirroring only the worst aspects of society (both in terms of context and the way it's being treated by the "authorities"), and a spiritual art that is all about subtle and causal energies and Eastern deities, or the tree of life. While the latter can be elevating, it often lacks a direct connection to mundane life as we know it, and therefore I don't really see how it can make a difference to the layman. I say let's find a golden middle path. This has always been my ambition, no matter what I do. I also believe that the pendulum of human evolution eventually finds the middle. This is a Hegelian concept that I fully believe in - thesis/antithesis>synthesis are an inextricable part of the evolution of consciousness). All art forms and expressions must eventually be found equal, this I believe to be one aspect of the golden middle path. Another thing is, the idea is not to make everything the same shade of grey, but to appreciate diversity. As for contents and meaning, I do feel that art should be constructive and helpful, rather than just depressing and the perpetuating of negative myths or behavioural patterns. I personally believe there is a compromise to be found, one where art can point towards anomalies but also inspire (I'm trying to achieve this myself). But before that we will see a lot of extremes and finding the balance might take a bit of time. One of the extremes we will see a lot of these days is decadent art that copies other artists and art that has been before (the robotic artists in China being a great case in point, but that's the extreme of the extremes). As I found in an investigating documentary I watched the other day, this is the era of an extreme indulgence in the copying of things we have already seen and experienced before, as if that brings human some comfort in a disconcerting world.
Painters compete during a facsimile match in Dafen Village. More than 110 contestants make facsimile of portrait or scenery oil painting in the timed match.
China's Art Factories

Here is the art of the past that I have edited so far. The text is from an artist's talk I'm doing soon for the Disability Arts Cymru. I think it's alternative art, at least it's art about the human psyche that the authorities never cared much about and I soon learnt to keep away from them.

"The Realm of Water - Level I" 2002 mixed media collage, sold
This piece is about the subconscious mind

In “The Chrysalis” (mixed media drawing) 1998), there is the idea of the possibility of slowly coming to life while on the other hand feeling boxed in by the limitations that my condition was imposing on my life. The figure is waiting for change. Tension, stress, tiredness and pain were all part of my daily life while I was struggling to keep up with everyone else. 

In “The Sacrifice” (mixed media drawing 2002) you can see that while I believe there is something greater behind us, so to speak, I also felt that the acquisition of a greater understanding of life was a kind of sacrifice. It was like Eve eating the fruit of knowledge, yet it was necessary as ignorance was not a choice. I was tied to the Earth, and I had to let go of any resistance towards life. In fact a greater acceptance of my situation helped me overcome some of my physical and emotional problems. It seemed increasingly important to focus on the issues here and now, in this reality.
"Those Who Wait Will Be Rewarded", (mixed media drawing 1999). One of the most important ideas was however that reality is fundamentally a paradox. In this picture, two realities are intertwined. There is one in which the communication between humans is difficult, there is a block of ice between them and the atmosphere is cold. The other is warm and sensuous, symbolized by a cat and a tree of life with roots deep into the ground. In other words, there are always two sides of the coin, but it's the same coin. In a deeper sense, life is not divided into opposites as it seems to the human mind, but one integrated whole. 
This picture is called “All the World is But a Stage” (mixed media drawing 2002), which not only explains that I think of life as a kind of theatre or school, but it also depicts the opposites of summer and winter and the idea that there is a unifying element and life force behind life as we normally see it. Being in touch with this life force is vital to our well being regardless of how disabled we are.