May 09 2020 – Michelle Turner
HeArt of life’ - this painting was never painted as a heart.
It was a large canvas I took into the garden on a sunny summer’s day to do some painting with my (at that time) very young daughter.
I took acrylic paints and big brushes and we just painted- no plan - and allowed the colours, shapes and drips to evolve. Needless to say my daughter got bored quickly (painting is not something she is a fan of) so I continued a while longer then stood back.
The painting was hung on our kitchen wall very visible from the table where we ate. I loved it.
My son didn’t. And he told me so (He’s 4 years older than his sister). In fact he didn’t like it at all and wanted me to take it down.
In this painting he didn’t see the joy and colour, flow, and vitality.He saw trauma, heartache, pain, tears, anger, frustration, loss. In fact he described his interpretation of every detail and aspect of the painting with great clarity and emotion.We’d been through a very difficult time. He saw all of this in the painting. Even though it had been painted with joy and love and peace in mind.
He was spot on. And so was I. The heArt of life, a journey through the most difficult times and yet there were times of joy.
Many people who see this painting, have their own experience and interpretation, and even more so at this strange time in our world. At my recent Art of Boxing exhibition, a very warm and smiling young man,along with his Dad, took the time to talk to me about some of the trauma and life-changing personal experiences he’d been through in his recent teenage years, and that he was in fact recovering from a serious brain injury having been mugged on a night out with friends a few months earlier. And this was the second time something devastating had prevented him from starting the life and career he’d been accepted into.
Yet, when he looked at this painting, he smiled and described what he saw... multiple hearts... several more than I or anyone else had ever noticed!
For me this painting represents being human in all it’s colours, textures and tones. Feeling and living life to the full in timely acceptance of all that it brings and to deepen, and constantly choose, love, joy and peace no matter how hidden or elusive it can feel at times. To show compassion, empathy, love and hold this space for each other (and ourselves) and especially at this time, so that none of us need hide our dark days or feel a burden and not know the hearts that are truly there.And to know through all the challenges, there is always the possibility of finding more love than you knew could be found. The Heart of Life.