“Illumination” is named after a shamanic healing process found in many indigenous cultures and explored by author Alberto Villodo, Ph.D. During acupuncture treatments, I would often rest and tune inward, engaging my minds-eye. One day my doctor told me the story of when she met two Navaho First Nations elders, Naomi and Belinda, at “just the right time.” They taught and inspired Dr. Tanya Gee to honour her ancestors and offered her an ancestral healing.
Tanya’s detailed story inspired my own journey. I felt open and ready with (more-or-less) step-by-step instructions. The results were a visualization of a vast, dark space followed by the presence of a brightly feathered spirit bird who fluttered and flapped about all sides of my body. He completed his work by resting his large wings across the backs of my shoulders.
Time passed quickly. Dr. Gee was surprised and pleased when I told her about my visualization. It felt like a deep healing and I was left tired and a little disoriented for a short time. I was compelled to search the Internet later to see if such a bird existed and found only a somewhat similar bird, the McCaw parrot, which I used for painting reference.
I believe we all have the power to heal ourselves. We can (and should) listen to our body’s messages through our inner voice. Was it a healing experience? A visualization? My vivid imagination? You be the judge! In any case, I believe there is more to life than meets the eye and this image reflects the healing magic we all have within.
I'm deeply grateful for the influence Indigenous cultures have on my art and life. Illumination is also the name the series of work of this period.
Stylistic influences include Japanese-Canadian, Takao Tanabe.