During my life and work as an artist I often encountered the phenomenon of harmony or disharmony between spirit and body, health and disease, life and art. Working in art has always positively impacted my spirit and this was reflected on the health of my body; and vice versa, when I was not able to practice art the power of my spirit and (consequently) of my body weakened. As I developed as a person and an artist, I became convinced that art has a healing, political and social, force and power. I often acted on this belief by using art forms to try to produce and transmit healing messages and experiences, which I directed at people and (open and closed) spaces. I have accomplished many interactive multimedia projects for children and adults. Much of my artistic work is taken up by writing and illustrating picture books for children and they often concentrate my humanistic and artistic endeavours and world view.
Given that I have suffered from osteoarthritis since an early age and have undergone several surgical procedures for my health, I have many times investigated personal and social attitudes to the body, health and illness and the way in which they reflect on one another. In several of my multimedia projects, in which I regularly include the gallery audience (please look at the visual presentation on the links), I explored the cultural, psychosocial and socio-economic significance and perspective of the concept of self-care. Sometimes from the philosophical, sometimes from the ironic (humorous) discourse, sometimes from the humanistic or even the subversive discourse, and sometimes through a combination of different approaches and media.
Staying and working at the Health Resort of Varber would allow me to work on an art project that would include the resort users (and other artists), and which would be a healing and motivating experience for us all.
How you would to work with the theme "Self-Care then and now" from the existing material (archive and other) about health and spa resort Varberg :
The basis of the research and production part of my art project related to the Health Resort of Varberg will be an (interactive) relationship between words and thoughts, art and health, and the capability of water to absorb and transmit positive messages or to flush from the body negative messages and experiences (illness). In other words, the will examine the healing power of the combination of water and art.
In Japan it is said that the words of the soul dwell in a spirit called kotodama or the spirit of the word, and that saying words has the power to change the world. The Japanese scientist and original thinker Dr. Masaru Emoto, during his research into water, was introduced to the concept of micro cluster water and magnetic resonance technology, and by photographing frozen water crystals he showed that water has an amazing power of absorbing words and transmitting messages. His photographs show that water which was exposed to positive words and thoughts such as Love and Gratitude shaped the most beautiful and most precise crystals, while water exposed to words such as Anger and Death shaped cracked, blurry and incomplete crystals.
It can therefore be assumed that health or self-care treatments based on drinking spring water, taking warm and cold baths can by harnessing the added energy charge of word and art have an even stronger effect and improve the health of the treated person.
The approach to the bodily health, care and beauty underwent a great change through the advancement of medicine, technology and biomechanics, which often look on and treat the human body as a mechanical machine (without a soul). Biotechnology, genetic engineering and nanotechnology (embedding chips, mechanical prostheses and electrical simulators and stimulators in the human body) provide new forms of corporality and suggest that the next generation may easily be the last generation of "pure" people (Deitch, 1992).
However, parallel with technological and scientific progress, (ancient) spiritual ideas which accentuate the connection between spirit and body, nature and man, are evolving and transforming. The words we speak and the thoughts we think are subjected to mental hygiene. Unfortunately, in the modern consumer society many technological breakthroughs and spiritual insights have become profane and turned the traditional concept of body and spirit into grotesque.
I believe that contemporary art and contemporary art forms and practices have a mediating power; to reach into the history and cultural heritage of a community and the personal stories of individuals and bring forth new possibilities and reflections of traditional values into the contemporary world with all its micro and macro cosmoses.
Project no. 1
Positive terms and words such as Love, Gratitude, Art, Friendship, Health, Happiness and so on will be stuck on the containers used to hold or drink spring water. This will additionally energise the water and intensify its healing effect.
Users will be able to take into the bath a piece of soap which has under the influence of the same positive words obtained healing properties, and use it to wash from their body negative experiences connected to negative words and bad and traumatic experiences.
This is just a working frame; the final idea will be completed after researching period:Project program users will spend part of their day in the health resort at a text workshop writing their personal story on their paper roll. Speaking and writing their life story has the purpose of verbalising/materialising and transforming their personal story, be it a traumatising or inspiring experience, into the experience and weaving of community.
Users may also write positive affirmative thoughts and words on their paper rolls or reach into the spa archive and write someone else's life story. The artist as moderator heads research into archive material and at the same time writes her story on a paper roll. At the end, all the paper rolls are joined into one large roll – a spiral reel that takes on the shape and meaning of the mandala.