Follow Your Destiny And Passion

A good friend of mine Dr Malcolm Simons whom I’ve blogged about on several occasions on my Mindset Of A Champion Blog and this Personal Mastery Blog, sent me these photos of his wife’s art work called Pillar of Life that is displayed at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center. I just think it’s important that we all follow our dreams to fulfill our destinies – like Ann is doing with her art. I thought I would honor that with excerpts from her speech at the unveiling of her masterpiece

Ann Abrahamsen Tryptich - Pillar of Life at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center

Ann Abrahamsen Tryptich - Pillar of Life at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center

Ann Abrahamsen Tryptich’s Speech Sunday 25 July 2010.

I wish to thank Professors ZENG Yi-xin and LIU Meng-zhong and their staffs at the SYSU Cancer Centre for providing such a wonderful opportunity for me and for fellow artists to experience the richness of cultural collaboration in such a heartfelt project.

How wonderful to work with artists when we do not share a common tongue but we do share the common language of paint, colour and of feeling. At least by the end of our work, Zhun Qiang and Gui Sheng were both fluent in ‘Thumbs up!’ which means ‘Very good’ in many languages!

My thanks also to Peter Chen, Xiong Geng and Bei Jin-xin for providing translation when we needed to discuss more complex matters, and to photographer (Liang Junbin) for recording the creation.

Also my sincere thanks to Liao Wei Biao. On my first visit to his place of work, without knowing anything about me, he agreed to oversee this project, and to recruit two such gifted artists as Shuz Qiang and Gui Sheng to assist who so generously gave of their time and their talent.

Of course I was sad to leave before the project was finished but I knew it was in very good hands and I am with you all today in spirit, confident that my presence will be well represented by my husband to whom this work is dedicated.

For those of you who are curious as to why I included torn paper in the work, it serves two purposes.

Firstly the paper is DNA sequence read-out paper: the symbol of the code of life that is written in our genes. My husband pioneered research into this area in the hope of bringing understanding and with it healing to those with cancer. DNA is essential to all life and the vine I enclosed it in is symbolic of the connection of all living things.

Secondly, the blue torn paper is like our lives, when things change we can feel torn and ragged, but nevertheless our lives are what we create out of whatever is in front of us, no matter how challenging. We each have a part to play even if, at times, we do not understand what that part might be.

For those of us dealing with cancer, whether we have the disease or we are caring for someone who does, we know how therapy challenges the body and the spirit. When my husband contracted cancer our whole world changed. Things we thought were important fell away; other things became highly important. We used the cancer to set our relationship right and to heal our family and then to make priorities of what matters to us most; looking for ways to contribute to the world during the brief time that we have on planet earth.

It is the hope of the artists that our work will bring calm and comfort, a healing of spirit to those who come here hoping to be well again, or at least to gain some extended time. And that the dedicated doctors, nurses and support staff working here each day will feel the paintings warmth and remind themselves how much their contribution is valued. It is our privilege to contribute in this small way to help create a sense of hope in all those who come here, to contribute to the creation of a healing environment for those we love.

- Pillar of Life:  Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center

- Pillar of Life: Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center

Artists: Ann Abrahamsen Tryptich, Li Zhun Qiang and Li Gui Sheng

Artists: Ann Abrahamsen Tryptich, Li Zhun Qiang and Li Gui Sheng

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