"Therapy isn’t for everyone. Find your path to peace. Maybe it is in creativity."
Watch a child, and more than likely no matter what they are doing, when a set of crayons or tubes of paint are lying around, they will make magic happen. Maybe not anything worth hanging on the fridge but still “magic” in their own right. We have a lot to learn from children. We say that because the arts are a form of healing and the most magical thing about it is the many forms it can be expressed in. If drawing and painting isn’t your cup of tea, then find another flavor. Dance, poetry, design and anything else that you deem as creativity are all forms of expression that can be used to heal. In doing so, most times without even noticing it in the moment, we heal the mind, body and soul just by tapping into the things we love. Pick up a pen and write, a brush and paint, thread your needle and sew, whatever it takes to express yourself.
The benefits of allowing oneself time to be creative can be surprising for some. We become better problem solvers, connect with our communities and ourselves, practice freedom and relieve ourselves of stress. All the things that make us shine as we move through this life. People, just like these very talented Caribbean artists we will highlight, have turned to the arts to heal whether from trauma, to gain clarity or whatever their driving force may have been. Nonetheless, they are now better and more whole, and we want you to feel the same.
NIKI LOPEZ Panamanian, Jamaican and Cuban decent
Lopez used art to survive the 14 challenging years she spent in a cult. Her signature mask Healing from Within is the first work in which she dealt with mending these wounds.
She says, “This is about the work I’ve done from the inside. This is when I really started to shift my life.”.
NZINGAH ONIWOSAN Haitian decent
As a child, Oniwosan was physically and emotionally abused by her mother, who suffers from a mental illness, and was molested by a close family friend.
Despite being forbidden to dance by her religion growing up, today she dances passionately in celebration of her freedom from the emotional bondage in her adolescence.
CHASTITY PASCOE Jamaican and Bahamian decent
Pascoe held on to trauma related to racism and misogyny constantly being present in the day-to-day lives of black people and women in America.
For her piece Together she lay on the floor and created a cast of her body, then duplicated it to look like two bodies sleeping far apart, covered with separate pieces of fabric.
She says, “This piece allows me to share trauma and be present to trauma”.
If you may feel the arts are your calling, explore it. You may open the doors to a brand new version of you just waiting to be introduced to the world.