In 2012, I fell down a flight of stairs, sustaining a brain injury that did not completely resolve; I have troubles with my memory, and higher-level cognitive functions such as problem-solving, judgement and decision-making.
There are three non-traditional strategies that I use to help me recover some semblance of normalcy. These include laughter yoga, brain injury rehabilitation work, and my stained glass art.
I have been doing stained glass for approximately two years now. My preference is to work on flowers and birds. My stained glass work brings me joy and a sense of accomplishment. It allows me to express myself artistically, a component of myself I never had time to address when I was juggling family and full-time employment.
Nicole is a 42 year old woman who has loved art all her life. She is an accomplished painter and can produce multiple styles. Nicole has a love for animals and has recently started sailing. Nicole was hit by a car while crossing the street when she was 10 years old. She now paints with her non-dominate hand.
Iggy grew up in Hamilton and attended local schools such as Ryerson, Westdale and McMaster. He drove Taxi and Para-Transit for a number of years. Along the way he acquired a brain injury that had been 40 years in the making. Iggy started to do art in various forms for therapy and as a means of communication. He had done some photography and videography before and has a general interest in "the arts." His "art" reflects a subconscious process that he himself does not fully understand. "It's fun and keeps me out of trouble......P.S, I love feedback."
Gary is a 54 year old man who has spent many years working as a photographer. He has gone through brain surgery twice to remove brain tumors and has starting back into photography. His newest passion is carpentry and he is enjoying it thoroughly!
Blair Payne is an artist from Hamilton. When he was 13, and then again at the age of 26, Blair suffered a brain hemorrhage as a result of an arteriovenous malformation rupture, and has lived with an Acquired Brain Injury for much of his life.As a boy, Blair was highly active in sports, but after his brain injury, he became severely limited in his ability to participate. This opened a new door for Blair, who was able to rekindle his interest in art. He made a successful transition from using his left hand using to his right one, in order to cope with his ABI and create new pieces of art.Blair graduated from Hamilton’s Mohawk College with a diploma in package design in 2010 prior to his second hemorrhage, winning the John T. Woolley Fortitude Award for persistence in the face of adversity. Blair currently takes art instruction from local artist Sylvia Simpson, where he continues to explore his interest in Muskoka Landscapes.
Corry is a 67 year old man who acquired his brain injury on November 15, 2000 as a result of being struck by a car when jogging with his daughter. He discovered his love for drawing as a young boy and continued to sketch throughout elementary and high school. In University, he stopped drawing because he became too busy with school, rowing, teaching, and work. It wasn’t until 2012 when he attended the Haldimand Abilities Centre in Hagersville, when he attempted his first painting during an art program. He now has a love for painting and finds it a quiet activity when he can relax and clear his mind.
Jim was born in Niagara Falls 61 years ago and has resided in Niagara his entire life. He has two sons, a daughter, granddaughter and grandson. Jim sustained his injury as a result of a motor vehicle accident in 1991. Has found painting relaxing and therapeutic. We hope joining the NAC gives him some inspiration to continue with his art painting. Aside from painting he enjoys: listening to classic rock, reading, watching comedies and telling jokes
Judy began painting and using mixed media after an aneurysm and stroke in 2014. I use to do crafts with the kids but nothing really grasped my attention. Now my art keeps my fingers and arm moving. I can really get into it and focus on the work for hours.
Eyyad has lived in Syria, Romania, and the United Arab Emirates and is a civil engineer by trade. He enjoys literature in several languages and has started dabbling in painting landscapes with watercolours. Eyyad received his brain injury after complications from surgery.
TA has had a zest for vehicles since he was a child. He loved the freedom they gave him as a young adult. He works with plastic and die cast models and researches the car in order to capture every detail. TA obtained a brain injury through lead poisoning at his place of employment.
Jane was an elementary school teacher who focused on art. She had a brain aneurysm in 1987. In 1999, was assaulted with a hammer to her face that broke her cheek and caused vision and hearing loss. She reports that her mother was a well-known artist. Jane loves to hear people’s interpretations of her work and to teach different painting styles. At the age of 70 she now lives in a long term care facility.
Howard studied fine art in Hamilton, Toronto and New York. He’s been a professional artist since 1970. His work has been auctioned at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Waddington’s, Richies amongst others. He has shown with some of the most famous Canadian, American and European artists in art galleries around the world. Howard considers many famous world artists his friends.