Into the Light, Artist Book in a Box by Corina Duyn
‘Her pain is terrible today, her tears a fire, it is impossible to see the soft summer morning's beauty, the gentle shadows, such is her agony.Another day lost.I have run out of words to pray.’On a day when my devoted husband wrote these pain-filled words and the day indeed seemed impossible to bear and utterly lost, a wonderful gift popped through the letterbox on to our mat, the timing of which was perfect.To back track a little, whilst looking for inspiration for Severe ME Understanding and Remembrance Day 2017, we unexpectedly and I have to say, to my sur-prise and delight, discovered a previously unseen piece of writing on a Disability Arts Online web page, that included a mention of my name and my Stick Picture art. http://www.disabilityarts.online/author/Corina-Duyn/
I confess that having been thrown into worsening unimaginable levels of repeated paralysis, for the last 7 years, my mind had forgotten, unbelievably, even that I had drawn them. I was in fact, it has to be said, thrilled to be mentioned and recog-nised as an artist by another artist. It reawakened a light in me and was such a wonderful affirmation. Excitingly, it led us to Corina’s own web site, where the beautiful, tender, gentle world and imagery of Corina Duyn, her art, puppetry and writings, were revealed to us through birdsong and nature and a beautifully presented web site: a stunningly innovate, determined and exquisitely detailed artist, with, an extra dimension of knowing, brought about by, to my amazement, her immersion of necessity into the world of Severe ME. Fourteen years of solitude and being still with nature, in order to cope with her illness, her art, her life, her expression of wisdom through everything she does, struck a chord in my heart. It resonated deep. It inspired. It uplifted, it sang a song of hope in the depth of my pain-filled, noise wracked, hypersensitive body, it reminded me not only of what I knew, echoing back from what she also knew, but also who I was in the core of my being, a free spirit, an artist, someone who ultimately has been trying to climb out of the pit that I have been thrown into and unwantingly captured in, by a desperately serious and very severe form of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, myself.
Beauty I can appreciate
Reading books has been way beyond me for decades now. Limited coordination, visual disturbance, eye pain, cognitive dysfunction, physical disability and a continuum with paralysis have rendered books beyond me. Yet beauty, I can appreciate, imagery I can feel, colour and nature can touch me. Short phrases and words can at the right time, in the right way, be comprehended. Stillness is essential. Healing is a path. Hope is elusive, yet necessary, to keep going. Inspira-tion, kindness, caring, the hope of strangers, the compassion and knowing of one too who has known, the unexpected generosity of a gift ten-derly offered, is an incredible lifeline, especially when you live in total isolation from the world and the invisibility of your moment by moment suffering mostly feels overwhelming, 25 years on.So into our silent world, when our need for beauty was great, came Corina Duyn’s incredible ‘ Into the Light Artist Book in a Box’.Our first impressions of this wonderful book in a box were how incredibly beautiful it looks and what a beautiful presentation and fantastic idea it is! There is a video about it on Corina’s website, however even this does not do full justice to the exquisitely beautiful book that arrived in the post. Corina also has several You Tube videos from which you can gain more insight into her work. For instance, the book was three years in the making and was inspired by the simplicity of Tibetan Prayer flags, fluttering in the breeze. With ME things are never straight forward. There seems to be a lot of waiting involved, limiting the time possible to proactively cre-ate the desired image. Then there is the practicality of how, how to do that which you can see in your mind, how to bring it into the Light! Corina is a total inspiration to me, someone who has experienced many of the things that I too have known. She has found healing over the years, though not well and in great pain and found a way to express and share her knowledge and wisdom, simply, purely and effectively through art, through writing, through photography and nature, puppets, tapestry, poetry, emerging into the Light from the depth of solitude, brought to her by this path of illness, with birds as her companions and inspiration.
Deconstructed and elegant
The Book in a Box is a uniquely brilliant gift! It is so much more accessible to me and hopefully to others who also struggle with more complex visual difficulties, cognitive dysfunction, muscle weakness and a host of other symptoms that make connection, comprehension and communication so impossibly hard.Knowing Corina has been so affected by ME for many years and has gained great insight herself, creates a unique bond for others struggling and coping with similar circumstance.What we love about this in essence deconstructed and elegantly transformed book, is how it brings accessibility, where an ordinary book is too heavy, too complex and often too many pages and too many words to manage. This book, which comes in four different versions, is a box of exquistely designed single pages that increases accessibility to the words and images within.Here a single sheet is light to hold, or can sit lightly on the lap when numb empty fingers cannot hold it.The imagery and photography convey so much to me personally - they elicit a recognition and deep resonance in my heart of my own experience, yet bring hope. They seem to bring a multi dimensional aspect because it resonates so deeply with what I know myself also from my own very severe illness and helps me recognises a bond of knowing between us, carried through the messages, words, imagery, beyond what is physically seen - the gift of not aloneness, the comprehension of pain, the need to surrender to the experience yet not to give in, the triumph, the resilience of the human heart and spirit despite intense physical suffering.We wish Corina every success with this wonderful healing Book in a Box and all her other amazing artwork.Thank you Corina for the inspiration and love in its pages!