It’s All Mental.  It’s All Physical – Jane O’Connor

It’s All Mental.  It’s All Physical – Jane O’Connor

It’s All Mental.  It’s All Physical – Jane O’Connor

Everything that happens in your brain including emotion has a physical mechanism. Working with clay I reflect on the permanence of damage. When I was a child, and got highly frustrated I would smash something, and when I broke a ceramic figure and there was no way to repair it to its previous state, I was devastated. As we perceive the world around us we have to sometimes accept that some damage is irreversible. In my personal mental health journey I am working on the concept of radical acceptance. Accepting the world around me, listing the facts and removing my perceptions and then dealing with my experience. The breaking of the brains represents the physical damage as well as the requirement for radical acceptance because once broken, fired ceramic can not be repaired to its original state. The bright colors represent the intensity of my emotional experience and my physical pain. Highlighting both the colors I see when experiencing a migraine attack, aura, and the colors I feel when I am experiencing extreme emotions. Every color has a feeling and every feeling has a color. All of my struggles (mental health, migraine and concussion) contribute to my external expression of pain. All the mental symptoms correlate to physical experiences. It’s all mental and it’s all physical.

Jane O’Connor is an artist born and based in southern Alberta. In her art practice, Jane bridges her emotional and cognitive experiences with her physical sensations. In the last 10 years Jane has struggled with migraine and concussions resulting in headache pain and other debilitating symptoms. In her early twenties Jane was diagnosed with a personality disorder that has altered her perception of relationships and the world. Struggling with a myriad of symptoms, Jane uses art as an outlet and a way to externalize her emotions and pain. Clay is one of her favorite mediums because it is recyclable, and can be remolded, bent, stretched and more but after a certain process(firing) it becomes an irreparable object and if broken, despite repair efforts, ceramic cracks remain, and it will likely never serve as a functional ware again. This has so many parallels to cognitive and behavioral neuroscience which is a favorite topic of Jane’s to explore.

Date:June 15th, 2024  -  August 24th, 2024

Location:Casa - Project Space

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The cover of the Spring/Summer 2024 Casa Program Guide with a marigold cover and paper flower collage.

Casa Program Guide

The Casa Program Guide is produced three times a year; Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall. Inside the guide find listings for the upcoming class and workshop schedule, upcoming exhibitions at The Gallery, information about artists in residence and seasonal events in the building. Program guides are free. Pick-up guides at Casa or at facilities throughout the city.