This art piece gripped me at first glance. The colors are dark, strong, and juxtaposed. I couldn’t tell what the pieces meant at first, but once I looked at the whole picture, I saw the outline of the body. The body language: hunched over, head between knees, and arms wrapped around the body. I recognized the position immediately, I have seen it before, and I have been there before. This posture screams pain.
The artist, Gina Hulse, created this painting “[to] depict what pain might look like on the human body.” She had experience with chronic pain, and she wanted to depict that experience. The way the body was colored in the painting really struck me, especially the red. If I had to give pain a color, it would be red without a doubt. Maybe that is because it was the color of blood or a burn. The piece has red around the upper back, shoulder, and lower back. When I looked at it, it was almost as if I can feel the pain.
Although I do not have any experience with chronic pain, this piece gave me a quick glimpse of the hopelessness it can bring. The body language of the figure does not just scream pain, but it also shows a moment of vulnerability. This pain must have not been easy to deal with or handle for such a long period of time. I cannot even begin to describe it, because I get bothered by a headache that lasts more than a couple of hours and it can affect my moods and behavior. I have no idea how one can deal with consistent pain for months or years. It must affect their life, moods, behaviors, and plans.
As a future physical therapist, I have no doubt that I will encounter patients who experience chronic pain or that I will see them in vulnerable moments. I know their pain will not be colored red, but it will be there, and it will be felt. I will remember this painting and help them through it.
Welds, G. (2017, April 18). Coping with chronic illness: My 101 days of creativity. Patient’s Lounge. Retrieved March 16, 2022, from https://patientslounge.com/conditions/Dont-Waste-Your-Pain-101-Days-Of-Coping-With-Chronic-Illness-Creatively