Beings of Light Speak Through and To a Painter with a Brain Injury
By Elizabeth Kirwin
Many artists have been deterred from realizing their fullest potential. Multiple obstacles might stand in their way: poverty, illness, injury, lack of support from family or partners, isolation, and/or little or no recognition for their work. How do artists who have strayed from their paths get back on track and continue to pour passion, time and energy into work that sustains their spirit and beautifies the world?
For this particular artist, Heather Ifversen, a life threatening head injury, caused by a fall in the bathtub, forced her to closely examine her life and dramatically change it. Brain trauma and a near death experience (NDE) and her subsequent convalescence and recovery awakened her enough so she could begin to live an authentic life again.
Ifversen’s story is extraordinary and deserves to be told. She has chosen to illustrate this experience through narrative paintings.
These paintings detail a profound and magical vision of the cosmos, and energies within it, which constitute the web of life. Central to her story is her self, and an astounding evolution which occurred during a period of six months or so, when she was contacted by beings made of light. Ifversen is still uncertain if these beings were real or a creation of her mind. Yet she seemed to have an ongoing conversation with them that had the effect of infusing her life with a new energy and most importantly – a drive to continue to create art.
In her visions, which occurred during her waking hours, she first begged these light beings to help her regain life and full consciousness so she could come back and mother her girls, Isabella (12) and Finn (7). Slowly, as her consciousness began to reconstruct itself, and her motor skills, speech and portions of her memory returned, the one thing she was able to do in her bedridden state was to draw and paint again. “I strapped a paintbrush to my hand,” recalls Ifversen, “and I began to paint the visions I saw in my head.”
As she returned to life, she also reclaimed her identity as an artist. Her life as an artist had been eclipsed and almost lost as a wife, mother, caregiver and social worker. Tenaciously, like someone possessed by energies beyond her control, she clung to this identity that had always been hers.
For these light beings who revealed to her the complex web of energies that form a backdrop to our existence had given her one more chance to live – and she was not going to waste it.
As editor of FairiesInAmerica.com, I am pleased to offer digital reproductions of Heather Ifversen’s work. This work was completed while recovering from brain trauma. A staggering 60 paintings were done during Ifversen’s six month recovery. For me, this art documents the strange and magnificent powers that lie behind the central truths of our world.
Though some may be inclined to be skeptical of Ifversen’s story, I am delighted by her revelations, and I know that the audience for this website will be, too. Anyone who travels the magical planes and works in the realm of faery magic knows that these energies are at work in all of our lives, yet a finely cloaked exterior keeps them hidden from view. Perhaps we are too distracted, or consumed by other matters, to see them as clearly as she has. The light beings she describes in her paintings are real. They work behind the scenes of the everyday, mundane world. Ifversen was walking between this world and that one for an elongated period of time. Having lost her ability to speak, read, or write, she chose to paint this reality. I am pleased that she returned to her brush, canvas and palette and used what little strength she had then to record her journey.
Please take some time to view this body of work, and realize it is only a small portion of what she has painted from her experience. More art is available upon request. I will periodically post more paintings for viewing as time goes by.
I encourage visitors with questions to email Heather Ifversen directly. All of the work here, except for the one piece noted ‘NFS’ is for sale in original format and as digital reproductions. Contact Heather Ifversen directly for purchasing details.
This work is copyrighted and can only be reproduced with the express written permission of Heather Ifversen. Inquire directly for permission to reproduce.