cerebral hemorrhage, right-sided hemiphegia
In 2008 I cofounded Yelling Clinic, a disability art collective consisting of five visual artists who each have an interest in the intersections between war and disability. Our goal is to raise awareness about the human costs of war and war pollution around the globe, while at the same time facilitating positive and empowered discourses through which war disabilities can be viewed. Yelling Clinic was born out of a desire to mix artistic practice with community outreach, art instruction, and activism. We are interested in looking beyond the prevailing methods of researching disability, which often involve a predilection to cure, diagnose, and treat with charity.
The name Yelling Clinic, subverts the idea that anything to do with disability should automatically be put into a medical framework. Being able to yell, is being able to have a voice, and what's more, a voice that is not passive. Through art making and creative exchange Yelling Clinic wants to reframe what it means to be both disabled and a victim of war.
For my contribution to the art of the Yelling Clinic, I have created a series of figurative mixed-media constructions entitled Healers from the Yelling Clinic. They employ imagery from neuro-anatomy from the 15h to the 21st century including Mansur ibn Ilyas, Andreas Vesalius, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, and today’s cerebral angiograms and fMRI’s. They serve to emphasize the innate intelligence of the body and its ability to heal itself. They are the byproducts of my having a cerebral hemorrhage and right-side hemiplegia.
In 2010 I had a vision in an early morning reverie of a diptych with a long skirt attached to it. It appeared odd, out of nowhere and somewhat silly.
There's a heightened sense of the play of surfaces, not just the painted surfaces but the textures and patterns of the drapery. The painted surfaces are even more suggestive of skin, peeled back to reveal structures underneath, but also cracked and scarred. The cracks and scars suggest some violence or injury or trauma, now healed over. The marks are still legible traces of that history that is incorporated into a new surface that is maybe not as pristine as it once was, but perhaps more evocative and telling.
They are healers both in the sense that they have the power to heal others, but also in that they have a history of healing themselves. They know how it's done.