Artworks created by brain injury survivors turned artists were displayed at the Barbican Center in London recently. Yokabet Mekuria was one of the people who showcased their work at the Barbican. She painted herself in vivid colors for a self-portrait.
“With the colors, I suppose it’s like to say I’m joyful, I’m not hiding in the background anymore, I’m here,” Mekuria remarked. “To actually see myself here is unbelievable because I never thought I would be here,” she shared.
The creative process has served as a form of rehabilitation for artists like Mekuria who displayed their work here.
The “Differently Various” exhibition was the product of a four-year collaboration between the Barbican Arts Center and the charity Headway, which helps people with brain disabilities recover control of their lives via music and the arts, according to Africa News.
Even though the artists’ injuries permanently altered their lives, the artworks showcased at Differently Various celebrate survival and the fortitude of those who inspired them. Studies show that a third of brain injury survivors are diagnosed with depression in the first year following their injury. Many therefore learn new ways to live, mostly using art. Experts say that art can help in recovery in several ways including helping to improve cognitive abilities and soothe emotional distress.
Watch the video of the London exhibition below: