I’ve now twice worked on artwork for healing. My first time was teaching a friend on how to use acrylic paints to convey something she wanted to make: A picture visualizing her body and her chemotherapy and immune system battling the cancer inside her. The second time I worked on a commission visualizing a friend fighting a part of her body that was causing her pain and was to be surgically removed.
I couldn’t help but reflect that this kind of artwork is so sacred to me. Just as Orthodox iconographers pray and fast when creating their icons to the Saints, these healing artworks were made as a supplication to the doctors, medicines and the fates that hold our health in their hands. A manifestation of our deepest fears, of our bodies working against us, and our non-body selves in conflict with that, trying to vanquish pain, frailty.