Cat paints through the pain

Cockburn Gazette - - ART -

ARTIST Cat Cronin is pre­par­ing for a solo ex­hi­bi­tion, So Alive 365 – Flight From Pain, telling the story of how art helped her over­come chronic pain.

The ex­hi­bi­tion at the Ki­dogo Art­house in Fre­man­tle from Septem­ber 14 to 19 will show­case her best works and tell of her jour­ney through chronic pain us­ing art, mind­ful­ness, move­ment, diet and holis­tic ther­a­pies. The ex­hi­bi­tion will in­clude more than 60 im­pres­sion­is­tic scenes from na­ture, fig­u­ra­tive works and sketches that strike the bal­ance be­tween chaos and calm.

Cronin, who has been a full-time artist since leav­ing art school in Ire­land in 2006, uses acrylic and wa­ter­colour on can­vas, as well as chalks, char­coal and glazes on pa­per.

In Jan­uary 2011 she was in a car crash that changed her life. She was sideswiped by an­other driver and left with se­vere dis­abling pain caused by spinal in­juries.

“Fi­nan­cial, emo­tional strain and the frus­tra­tion and in­abil­ity to plan for the fu­ture in ar­eas like fam­ily or a ca­reer made me feel I would lose hope,” she said.

“I wanted to es­cape my body by any means pos­si­ble.”

Four years into re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­cov­ery, Cronin started get­ting some re­lief as she drew ly­ing down, then pro­gressed to paint­ing stand­ing up at an easel for 15 to 20 min­utes at a time.

She would med­i­tate, then paint in a frenzy and lie on the floor and re­peat this process un­til she could not stand.

“I com­mit­ted to make art ev­ery day for a year and share it on so­cial me­dia,” she said.

“This is where So Alive 365 was born; I cre­ated a habit that changed my en­tire life. I leave my body when I paint. I wrote my own pre­scrip­tion of art then it rolled over into fit­ness, a life­style change and more paint­ing and art. I still strug­gle with flare-ups and pain man­age­ment daily and some days it beats me – but I am fully alive 365 days a year and re­silient, grate­ful, present and full of hope.”

Dur­ing the Fre­man­tle ex­hi­bi­tion she will do paint­ing ses­sions daily in a pop-up stu­dio and in­vite peo­ple to join her for ‘cre­ative en­ergy work­shops’.

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d486011

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