Mannequin Series by Heather Berg
The SYS team was fortunate to attend an art gallery opening recently in Indianapolis where we discovered a phenomenal group of female artists showcasing evocative, raw, absolutely beautiful works speaking to the many stories we hold secretly inside. We were so blown away and inspired that we asked the artists to share some of their personal stories and art with us. Heather Berg’s raw, unapologetic and captivating paintings immediately drew our attention. Although her series is titled, “Mannequin,” it portrays the most authentic, flawed and identifiable parts of the female experience. To learn more about Heather and purchase her work, please visit her Facebook page.
I am a self-taught artist. I have always been creative and artistic. I started focusing on painting this year. I use painting as a form of therapy. Towards the end of last year I was diagnosed with Anxiety and Panic Disorder. I started seeing a therapist and we worked on meditation. I learned to trust my body over my mind. My mind has been lying to me my whole life. Will I really die going to the grocery store if I can’t find a parking spot? Of course not. But my brain was constantly telling me things like this. So, I’ve been learning how to communicate with myself in other ways to quiet those lying thoughts. Exploring nonverbal communication, such as painting, helps me ignore the lies. Putting my thoughts onto canvas helps me understand myself in different ways. Some of my works may not communicate with you the way I intend, but as long as I help you escape your own thoughts and make you feel something, I am grateful. My pain and fears have turned into something beautiful.
My goal this year has been to paint every week. Some weeks are easier than others. Sometimes I never want to paint again. I need to keep pushing myself to keep this therapy going. Will I paint every week next year? Probably not, but I will continue to paint, since mental health is an ongoing thing. I am enjoying my journey and I am grateful for those who view my work.