Welcome to ADL Gallery.
I began this gallery in order to share the work I have done over the last couple of years while learning to manage Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.
Since 2010 I have fought to manage both of these conditions, moving from being completely bed bound to slowly and painfully being able to walk, to think clearly, and to climb out of a dark hole of illness I had fallen into. All of the colour and energy went out of my world and I was isolated and frightened. Once I was able to use my materials again
Any illness has effects beyond the physical and in particular chronic illnesses which even the best of doctors do not know how to treat. Some of those are isolation, pain, loss of job, financial difficulties, loss of friends, medications, relying on carers, changes in personality and deepseated anger and grief. I found my illness brought loss into my life and my life went dark.
As an art teacher in secondary school in London, England I was surrounded by lively, energetic and sometimes challenging students and teaching art was my vocation rather than my career. As my illness came on suddenly I found one day I could not hold a pencil without pain, could not walk, could not understand instructions…loss was all around me. I fought hard against my illness for over a year using my will and determination to ‘get over it’…after a year of constant relapses in hospital I gave in to it and accepted I was ill and might never get better.
My life was spent in bed, sensitivity to light, sound, touch and a complete inability to hold a book or concentrate for 30 seconds was normal. I lost my ability to count, to read, to communicate….I was fit for nothing at all and because my illnesses were poorly understood I had very little professional support. I chose to sleep and control my pain with medication for a number of years. I really thought my previous life was over and doctors said I would never work again. I was in the dark deep hole of complete isolation, lying in my bed hallucinating and in pain day after day for a number of years.
After years in a darkened room with only my own muddled thoughts for company I discovered audiobooks and began to listen to as much as I could on the mind and spirit and how to heal what appeared to be a pain processing disorder of the brain.
I cried out for colour, intense, rich, highly saturated glorious colour- these colours seemed to resonate within me and lift my spirit. Colour became so important to me it was like a medicine. So too with music, my spirit was lifted up and I was energised from within. I was living in a world of intense nerve pain which ranged from burning, tingling, shooting, prickling, deep aching and muscle cramps, all over my body with no relief except to drug myself to sleep. My experience was one big bad hallucination. Listening to music and bathing in colour was soothing to me- when even a soft breeze on your face is painful and you cannot have a sheet over you as it feels crushing I had to turn away from physical comforts and look to my spirit.
All of us suffer loss and grief and I am by no means alone in what I went through and sometimes still suffer. I strongly believe in healing from within and doing this through colour and sound therapy…this has lead me to study art therapy as art and music and supportive friends helped me to partially recover…at least enough to be able to participate in society again.
My slow recovery was a spiritual journey. I didn’t realise at the time however looking back I grew spiritually during this time trying to discover how to raise my vibration through colour and sound. I have since come to realise that the creative process is for me the heart and soul of my life and without it I live in the silent darkness.
After eight long years I was able to return to teaching and I thank the schools that were willing and able to employ me despite me being quite disabled and sometimes not being completely as able I wanted to be I gained strength from my wonderful students and colleagues. My facebook groups in particularly the Artstronauts were incredibly supportive and slowly I emerged again with the support of very different communities.
My health was restored with my journal work, the philosophy, the spiritual teachings, the colour, the music had given me the strength of spirit and now I want to share that strength.
I now study art therapy and work with others like me who are in a place of suffering, loss, grief, pain, emotional turmoil and work to find and activate the peace and strength buried underneath the result of our stressful and painful lives.
Every day I try to send as much love, strength and blessings to all those I know and all those Im yet to meet. To me creating and responding to art and music in any way is a healing practice which is available to us all, it lives in us, we just need to seek and find our own buried treasure and my website is to share the many ways I am putting this work into practice to discover the precious missing pieces of our lives.
Please enjoy my website and don’t hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do to encourage your journey.