OF ART & ENDURANCE

Dr.Shanali Perera

Creative expression and creative output from a singular conscious is one that is best described as ‘art’. While art influences and impacts diverse nuances of society and concerns of the ethics and politics, art is integral in its purpose to exist as a notion of self-expression. Self-expression and creative expression are mutual concepts that contribute to the perception of art where an individual may utilize this medium as a form of therapy. It is believed that art is a science of healing deep wounds, mentally and physically and artist, Dr. Shanali Perera converses with ARTRA about the inherent value art holds in the significance of cure. Art therapy is a therapeutic technique imbedded in the idea that creative expression can nurture healing and mental, physical or emotional well-being. Art therapy integrates psychotherapeutic techniques with the creative process, and through this intertwining, allows a space of healing and restorative console. Shanali explores through personal experience her journey in creating and expressing through the medium of art a vital component that created not just assurance of betterment but also a separate identity from parts of herself she felt were fractured.

Dr. Shanali Perera was initially a rheumatologist practicing in Manchester, United Kingdom. After stumbling upon the illness herself, Shanali turned to art as a medium of therapy. Upon developing vasculitis, a disease that means an inflammation of blood vessels, Shanali has since advocated for the mode of creative expression to cure and cope with challenges from lasting impressions, both Dr. Shanali Perera was initially a rheumatologist practicing in Manchester, United Kingdom. After stumbling upon the illness herself, Shanali turned to art as a medium of therapy. Upon developing vasculitis, a disease that means an inflammation of blood vessels, Shanali has since advocated for the mode of creative expression to cure and cope with challenges from lasting impressions, both physically and mentally. “I developed vasculitis during my specialist training in rheumatology, and consequently advocate for the use of creativity to cope with facing challenges from long-term conditions,” she explained. Shanali’s work centres around the concept of exploring art and the human factor to raise awareness, create capacity to open dialogue and create agency about facilitating ‘expression of illness’. Through the practice of art, she intends to educate the public how visual expressions can be an alternate language, while opening new ways of seeing to help clinicians get a deeper understanding of what people go through, the impact illnesses have on a person’s image and identity. Subsequently, she pursues the purpose of helping to narrow the gap between ‘medical science and the human experience’ and explore our understanding of the ‘human aspect of medical practice’. We discover in this way, art can play an integral part in the perspective of the ill and those around by bringing sensory dimensions to the conversation. 

Art therapy is characterized as an approach to mental health that allows the use of the process of manifesting art to progress mental, physical, and emotional condition. Shanali’s works of art are precisely created as a visual aesthetic to understand her perspective of pain and fatigue. She explains through colour and posture in her drawings of figures, the inherently similar nuances between the depiction and her illness. In her works, Shanali symbolizes the colour red as immense pain and yellow and greens as different distinct levels. Her choice of medium, as a digital artist to capture these sentiments are also a conscious decision that contribute in the intent to comprehend the accessible spaces that accommodate the illness. 

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6th March, 2020 Visual Art | Paintings

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