First year Education graduate student Maren Daniels will be showcasing her paintings in an upcoming exhibit entitled Vessels. A reception will be held on Thursday, May 5th from 4-6pm in Northwestern Hall at Luther Seminary (1501 Fulham Street, St. Paul). The pieces are an expression of Maren’s experience battling an illness. Her artist statement explains the collection in more detail:
Art is my outlet and voice- my understanding and simplification of complex and personal struggles. Since the fall of 2009, I have found myself expressing my internal challenge with illness. Themes of powerlessness, confusion, and empowerment come through after my experience with Bacterial Meningitis. Being confronted with my mortality at eighteen years of age continues to affect the creative choices I make through painting.
In 2013 I requested to see my medical records. This sparked a completely new series in self-expression. While paging through these sheets, though abrasive and difficult in content, I discovered the beauty of the cells that made me ill. These slides of my microscopic bacteria created a conversation. These vessels, layered in color and line, combine to form my physical and emotional experience.
My interest in creating stems from an incredible cathartic and healing power that emerges when I paint. I have always found happiness in painting; the ability to add layers and experiment with color thrills me. I am grateful for the inspiration that has emerged from my illness. My intent in continuing this creative journey is to experiment with divergent thinking. This form of thinking allows me to explore the many layers embedded in my struggles with illness; it enhances my voice and allows room for a variety of outcomes.