|Self Portrait - Mixed Media - Geraldine Crimmins|
Lately I've been reading and writing on a site Medium.com about recovery, my own and others. These individuals whose articles I read are also very creative. They use art to heal and work through their own recovery. All are very creative artists, who express themselves through a myriad of expressions.
Learning about new artists is one of my favourite things to do. And I have to say, I especially love finding out about artists who have been through some kind of struggle and difficult life altering experience, that seemed impossible to overcome. In spite of or perhaps because of, they not only survive but they thrive, and have become immersed in the healing and trans-formative process of creativity.
Today I came across one such person. Geraldine Crimmons lives in the UK, is a recovering addict, was once homeless, spent time in prison for drugs and has a disability. The strength that art has given her is a true testament to the power of art to transform and heal lives.
In my other life as a Youth Care Worker for over a period of 20 years, I had the privilege of helping troubled youth express their innermost feelings and thoughts through the expression of creating art. Creating art was non-threatening, enabled them to feel safe and comfortable, to be open about who they were, and what they were going through, without having to feel overwhelmed by words that would leave them frustrated and too vulnerable when trying to verbally open up about themselves to another, especially with an adult authority figure. The words more often than not did not come, to adequately express their feelings, that had been suppressed and repressed for most of their young lives in ways that could not have been imagined by many people who'd lived a life time.
For me seeing other artists use art to heal is affirmative and empowering. I find strength through their strength and it helps to lighten my own load, and I continue to learn that there is great strength to be found in my weakness, and creativity continues to renew the human spirit.
Creativity helps us to prepare our sorrows for joy.