I believe health and healing are on the same continuum: that of a work of art, a process towards balance, flow, generosity, transparency, connectedness, meaning, and wholeness. This process happens simultaneously within individuals, among individuals and between individuals and their environment, as well as in the spiritual realm. At birth, we are given materials or substances from which to work; our hearts, souls, minds and body shape them to reflect the information we come across, the things we see, the stories we need to tell, the emotional responses we have to share and the sensations we experience. The outcome of this process, shapes us.
There is a spiritual element to both the healing and artistic process. Both require risk taking, trust, courage, love, hope and faith. The arts provide an unequaled space of freedom, pleasure, safety, relaxation and honesty in which we may shape the unknown, broaden and sharpen the known, and unfold more mindfully. At any given time, whom every we are, while our defense mechanism may “push in”, art may “elicit out”, and it is this poetic and organic dance that makes us humanly, who we are. Making art is far from being a luxury if our goal is to empower all members of society. Art teaches us how to survive and live with one another. An Artist, like a healer, needs to be committed to his or her own growth.
Statement by Cécile Rêve, all rights reserved, written 7/14/04 for Art by Healers exhibit at the J. David Broudo Gallery, Endicott College, Beverly, MA; Last revised 2/4/09.