Marguerite Laing

The Concussed Artist

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The Injury:

I am a New Zealand artist who, in August 2016, suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury from which it has taken more than two years to recover.

For a few months I was essentially bed-ridden and barely able to function following the injury. When I was able to move around home more freely I began to paint again. However, my work was dramatically different to my pre-injury style.

While I was not able to do much more than paint, it was a wonderful way to escape from the overwhelming and complex experience of Traumatic Brain Injury. Over these two years since the injury I have created more than 100 paintings, which visually explore a very personal journey through concussion.

The Aspiration:

In early 2018 I received the honour of being invited to exhibit some of my work at the Parallax Art Fair in the Chelsea Town Hall of London, after the organisers had seen some of my recent works online.

Due to the fact that I am not completely recovered from the head injury and would not be able to make the trip on my own yet, my adult son will accompany me. As well as the cost of flights and accomodation, the paintings to be exhibited will be insured and shipped separately at some cost. Therefore, I am hoping to raise funds to be able to attend this milestone event and expand the viewership of my art.

I am also in the process of compiling a book which showcases my work prior to the concussion, as well as all of the paintings through my recovery, to illustrate my experience and bring hope and reassurance to those experiencing similar struggles.

The resources I found on recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury were all too cerebral to be of any real help and so I hope that in making the book my visual journal may help those similarly affected.

In addition to any aesthetic or artistic merit that a viewer may derive from my works, the paintings examine and document the shifts in my mental faculties through my recovery and allow the viewer a glimpse into a rare and often hidden state of mind.