This second week of recovery is a slow moving beast. How I can remain sane, positive and support my well-being is at its heart. Today, I thought I would ramble on about how art is helping, not that I am not engrossed in reading, Netflix and podcasts. But every morning I crack out my camera, challenge myself to create some new photos of the same place and write this blog. Both art ventures are rooted in unchanging routine, with medical highlights true, but generally the landscape is unchanging. I know that as the days progress this will become more relentless, so the art comes into its own. Well-being can be supported by art. Here’s how I am doing it.
I had no intention of writing this blog, nor that it would become a daily activity. However, its emergence has been quite natural and matches my usual blogging. Writing about what is present in my life and creating photos to accompany it has been my way for several years. Usually this has been related to my work, but it is always rooted in my daily activity. So these ‘Tales from my hospital bed’ are a natural consequence.
How they can continue to be entertaining for you and supportive for me is the challenge. Particularly as this next week is quieter medically. And so I return to my intention, to write about what is happening. Today that is the challenge of creating new and interesting photos in the same environment. I have just my room, the ward, and the lift area and stairwell outside the ward to play with.
As I mentioned yesterday I have the facility to combine two photos in camera. This is interesting as a technical skill, but the art still has to be purposeful. Here’s an example.
This uses the same background as yesterday’s header image. It’s looking down the 10th floor stairwell, a view that suggests a huge climb has been achieved, but that also a big fall is possible. By then situating my feet where I did, I am suggesting that however I feel each day I have to stay grounded, stay rooted to my current standing. Another words, pay attention – be mindful. I liked the fortunate location of the light, in that one foot is lit with bright sunlight, the other is darker. A nod to the light and dark that passes through my day, as events bring both contentment and difficulty.
A lot of my art is about how I am in the present moment. So quite often I feature in some form. I regularly look for different ways of producing selfies that could reflect differing mental states. Not that I am always experiencing them at that moment. More that I have or will. Here are a couple of examples. What mood or emotion does each one convey for you?
And then I also look for interesting photo opportunities. The view from my window is a constant draw. This diptych of images was created as an intentional pair, simply to show night and day of the same view. Tricky to get them exactly the same without a tripod and marker pen! But you get the idea. The intention of the pair is not only to create interest in the view, but to remind us of light and dark, sun and shade. For every state there is an opposite.
A Final Thought
It appears that creativity is endless, like numbers or the universe. Having released everything I had thought of with relation to Mindful Photography it came as a surprise when considering what I would do next photography wise that I had more to give. I have the working title for my next book – ‘Photography for Well-Being’. Not only that but when I started thinking about format, it immediately became clear that this must be an experiential learning book. Primarily it will contain photography activities – I have 21 new activities so far – each one will teach a photography skill, but more importantly each will be designed in such a way as to enhance your well-being. I am going to spend a few months completing the activities myself – to create accompanying photos – and write the text as I complete each activity. Kind of art for well-being in action. At least that is the plan from the hospital bed. I recognise that this all could change!