HOBBIES

COLOR YOUR HEART

Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC)

Jennie IJL SJÖSTRÖM

art

I was born in Sweden in 1979 with a rare diagnosis AMC, which prevents me from using my arms and legs so I paint with my mouth. I need help with almost everything practical in my daily life and therefore I'm always surrounded by helpers, family or friends. It can be very stressful to constantly have another person behind or beside you, especially if you are a loner and highly sensitive person like me. Therefore, I love my studio. It's my refuge and when the door is closed it's just me and my creativity dancing together in harmony.

I painted with dark colors & people without heads, legs or arms for a decade

They were depicted often as being trapped, wounded or stuck. Maybe it was my way to deal with what I never really talked about, the fact that I am physically trapped in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. Soon enough I even started to believe that these dark motifs were all I could do as an artist.

Then my life took a turn for the worse

In 2009, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was sure I would be dead before the year was over and this great sorrow stopped me from painting at all. I just sat in my studio, with silent tears on my face, staring at the easel. Day after day, a whole summer even passed.    After several surgeries, many pain and tears and a whole lot of time in the hospital, the cancer was gone. I was lucky. It took a while, but suddenly I felt a rebirth in my life and my art! The need to paint in dark colors was gone. For the first time in a long time I wanted to paint in sparkling colors and not only did I want to use color; I wanted to paint ideas of harmony that is deep inside all of us. To express these ideas I started to paint women’s busts, depicting them with their eyes closed - almost as dreaming of that peaceful world we cannot always see.

I have shown my artwork at art fairs, museums, galleries and castles in countries like Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and USA. My art has also won some prizes. For example: 1st Place at 'United Ink Flight 913 Art Fusion', Cradle of Aviation Museum, New York.

You'll find my art at my website, on Facebook and Instagram.

www.idjeli.se
www.facebook.com/idj

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