I’ve always been interested in the process of using art to help people with their feelings and to recover from bad experiences. I believe that creating something in your mind and making it with your hands can be somehow therapeutic.

After my brain injury in 2008, I went to the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre in Melbourne and had some art therapy of my own.  It involved making marks and pictures that came into mind on the spot. I was also asked to do a self portrait and this produced Rehab which I’ve found hard to view since my injury but I’m now growing more comfortable with. It reminds me of when I was very ill and not yet fully functioning, straight after my traumatic brain injury.

 

Rehab, 2008, 0.5m x 0.4m

I used a photo of myself from late 2008. I'd had part of my skull removed then put back, and this shot showed my hair regrowing post surgury.

I painted this over six weeks, working on it for an hour each week.

I went to an art therapy course at Glasgow University in 2011, three years after my traumatic brain injury. Each week the teacher gave a subject matter and I made an image in response to it.

I find it interesting now to look back at the images I produced:

 

 
"How do you see yourself?"

I was thinking about my brain and how people can't see the damage that has been done to it.
 
 
"Draw a view from a window"

This is the view from my hospital room in Melbourne at night. I spent three months in that room in St Vincents Hospital.
 
 
"What are you thinking about this week?"

My Australian friends Catherine and Nick were coming to visit us on their travels and I was thinking what we can do together in Glasgow...
 
"What has happened to you this week?"
I'd had an x-ray that afternoon to check that my pelvis had healed after breaking it during my first epileptic seizure.
 
 
"An image of a heart"

Everyone else on the course drew a valentine type heart. Being a vet I attempted an anatomically correct depiction of a cow heart!
 
 
A communal painting we all did on the last evening of the course.It was a free, flowing, dripping mess of paint that we all had a good laugh doing!