Visual Arts & Healing Arts

As you may know, before enrolling in Acupuncture College, I graduated from Camosun College’s Visual Arts Program. It was quite a lateral move, going from my primary interests of drawing, painting, and sculpture, to studying how the mind and body works, and how to help them heal. I felt that way as well.

At the time, I wasn’t thinking about careers or livelihoods, I was just pursuing my interests. I went to art school to become a better artist, and I went to acupuncture school to learn how to be healthy and help my loved ones to be healthy too. Partway through acupuncture school I got married and had a child, so livelihood became a much more emphasized part of the picture. This helped me to bring a level of seriousness to my studies to become the licensed and competent practitioner that I am today.

Looking back I have asked myself. “why did you go strait from art school to acupuncture school?” and I recognize how each of these aspects of my life fulfill a different purpose for me. Making art has always been a very liberated and self permitting act for me. In my creative process I enter a time warp where I attempt to balance chaos and control and that time is really just for me. Others may get something from what I do, but that isn’t the reason I do it. I do it because I like to do it.

I wanted my life and career to serve a higher purpose that that, and I didn’t want to compromise my art to try and make it serve that purpose. To that goal, I went about facilitating others creative process though Interactive art installations “Creation Stations” at festivals and through BC, chalk art jams though Victoria and Vancouver, and phosphorescent light painting installations, “Glow On”. I shared my own creative process via live painting at events and festivals throughout BC. I also found much joy in collaborating on public mural projects for the Rock Bay Restoration Project, and Stair Well at Centennial Square (Victoria), and displaying my artwork alongside other indigenous artists at Open Space. These were fun, engaging, and meaningful things to be part of. I’ve had a solo shows, at the Ministry of Casual Living, and Spiral Cafe, and continued to chip away at new pieces for future shows I’m planning. I also love admiring my daughter’s passion for drawing, and collaborating on projects with her here and there.

Right now I am finding little ways to fit more art visual arts practice into my everyday life. The Life that I am working toward is one that again balances my creative process with my professional practice. As these are both meaningful parts of myself, I wish to nourish and integrate both, so as to continue to grow into my fullest and truest self.

Pictures from my March 2020 show at the Ministry of Casual Living – “Dihedral”

Owen Parnell
Owen Parnell
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