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    You are here : Home » Get Involved » Inside Out Exhibition - Explore the garden of heal

    Inside Out Exhibition - Explore the garden of healing

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    Sami Chugg

    When I was diagnosed with a serious illness - MS - in 1998, my anthroposophical doctor said to me that, put simply, MS is about a block in creativity. From then on I realised that returning to my art, and making it central in my life, was and is vital to my healing and well-being.

    The steps I took from there included writing a book, Loving Your Body, which was published by the Rainbow Programme (a charity I helped to set up and which I worked for for 10 years). A further step was doing a Foundation course in Anthroposophical Art Therapy. And the step I am currently taking is this exhibition: Inside Out.

    Inside Out is an exhibition of art that shows ways to heal using form and colour.

    Traditionally the fields of painting and sculpture have been divided. They are even taught as separate degrees. But actually why not unite them? This idea came because I have reached a stage in my health recovery where working with form, through clay, was clearly important and reflected my increasing experience of really occupying, living in my own body. In art I have always favoured painting and colour. So experimentally, I began to combine form, in this case clay, with vibrantly coloured oil paints. What's more I discovered that painting clay raw (no firing) meant that it dried in 15 minutes, which opened up the possibility of working much more quickly than is usual with oils.
    The first step for me in exploring ways to heal was to let go of the idea that there is one "right" way. As the welcome board for the exhibition says: "At the core of Life is love, peace and harmony. This destination might always be the same, but there are many routes to get there."

    Visiting this exhibition will be as if you are looking round a garden. At the gateway are two sculptures demonstrating states conducive to healing, e.g. inner peace. The other sculptures show the stages of healing, leading to the final sculpture, "See your Potential",  which shows how anyone can make a new neural pathway in their brain. We do this by choosing to change our thinking and beliefs. Instead of the old habitual behaviour and thoughts that produced the same old negative results, we start to create a different route with better thoughts which create different, better results in our lives. This leads us to a place where we can look on our unlimited potential and see it sparkling with opportunity.

    Winter 2011 To Iona

    The sculptures are supplemented with blown up photographs of some key details. For example, a small squirrel in one sculpture represents Ratatosca from Norse mythology.  He carries messages between the gods and Earth which symbolises the communication between the head and the rest of the body.

    In another sculpture Mother Earth is looking despondent because she's worried about her children (all of us) and thinking "Will my children ever get it together?". Yet she does not notice a cheeky rabbit who is living happily within her, and who represents the eternal spirit of play which the Earth Mother has temporarily forgotten.

    My aim is to make the private, deeply personal experience of healing transparent, and therefore understandable by anyone, and to include fun and the impulse to play which is at the heart of all healing.

    Inside Out is part of a bigger exhibition called "The Earth and Us" at Trinity Henleaze United Reform Church on October 6th & 7th 2012. I hope to see you there.

    Sami Chugg

    This article was first published by Redland High School. (in the School magazine 'Day's Eye' 2012).

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