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Art Healership Lessons

A lesson on the narrative we tell ourselves

Tess Jaray, How Strange, 2001, oil on linen, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Imagine each dot is a moment in your life. Place the first few moments that come to mind on the top line, those that are within closest reach.

What moments come to mind? What are they showing you about your world? If these were the only moments you could show a stranger, what kind of assumptions might they make about your life?

As you begin to move from dot to dot, for as long as is comfortable, you might note which moments feel far away and distant. Which memories would you place in the specs at the bottom.

How strange that, in recalling the moments that preoccupy us the most, we do not always give space to the ones in which we are most content.

The dots are all the same size; we just arrange them as if they aren’t. We choose to give importance to what feels familiar, and therefore what is ‘closer’ to how we view our life to be. Often, this is in place of moments that bring us peace; they might not fit the narrative to which we are most accustomed to living. How strange it is that the mind is wired in this way.

Jaray’s work invites us to observe how we choose to find order in chaos, how we make an illusion of meaning and sense out of life. The painting shows that, where ‘order’ means that with which we are familiar – it can also mean contentedness, depending on our perspective.

To learn more about how art can develop raise your consciousness and develop self-awareness, visit the Art Healers’ Gallery on Instagram.

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