Many religious texts begin with the creation of our world performed by a divine being. In the Christian tradition God created beauty – all of creation – out of nothing and bestowed it as a gift for humanity to enjoy. He created out of love, passion and complete gratuity. To me, this ancient literature defines art: beauty born of goodness and offered as a gift of love.
As a trauma survivor, I suffer from complex-PTSD. I have learned many things about how experiences affect the human body. They profoundly shape who we are, how we behave and what we believe. In the field of neuroscience, we are learning that trauma affects how the brain works and how it is physically shaped. Trauma negatively affects even our muscles and immune systems. Everything that is not love destroys, desecrates and crushes – mentally, physically and spiritually.
Neuroscience is showing beauty and love have profound effects too. They transform and regenerate – mentally, physically and spiritually. Everything I have experienced confirms this. I have come to believe beauty and love produce a far greater force than I ever before imagined. They have paved a path to sleeping better, improved health, hope and joy. They have assuaged anxiety, alleviated depression and eased my burdens. Love and beauty are a balm to the wounds we bear.
My artwork is more than a collection of pretty objects. It is beauty and love made tangible, not to avoid or ignore the brokenness around us, but to speak into it. My work is my gift to my community; it is intended to offer wonder, hope, peace, unity and grace. It is intended to build connection and relationship, and to give value and dignity. It is meant to be a conduit through which goodness can shine and care can be given.
While my work can stand alone, most of the subjects were intentionally chosen as metaphors in order to speak into the lives of people around me and into the culture we share. Much of my work is accompanied by creative writing intended to enhance its richness and depth.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kathleen H. Peters became a full-time, professional artist in 2008, after practicing engineering for several years. She is now a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and a member of the Cardigan Mountain Art Association. She has extensively exhibited her work in solo exhibits throughout New Hampshire, Vermont and beyond.
As Peters’ art began to develop she mastered several mediums, including pottery, pastels, paint, wood, and fiber. Like engineering, she discovered there are a multitude of tools and materials available to make artistic dreams become realities. Peters loves using her technical background in order to understand the material properties of the medium with which she is working. This allows her to control her work precisely in order to produce heirloom quality work. It allows her to create work that can be cherished for years to come and to share her love for finding beauty in the simple, everyday things in life. And it allows her to fulfill her greatest desire: to enrich the lives of others.
© Kathleen H. Peters