The human brain and, more specifically, neuroplasticity, fascinates and amazes me. Although the theory that the brain remains changeable, or plastic, throughout adulthood is not new, only in the later half of the 20th century has neuroplasticity been proven through scientific research. Human beings have a miraculous ability to change the neurons in our brains, for better or worse, by ways of thinking, acting, and learning. The general themes in my art are emotion and change, and the idea of neuroplasticity – the flexibility, healing, and growth of the mind and heart, as well as the wounds which scar over and never fully heal – is at the forefront.
The paintings in the trauma series are theoretic images of MRI scans after emotional trauma as opposed to physical trauma. I began this series after long contemplation of the ways in which my childhood experiences had influenced a more recent relationship. My own brain plasticity helped me to grow and heal after the traumas of my past, but not everyone responds to trauma in the same way. My goal with this series was to explore the relationship of emotional and physical trauma in the brain, as well as the many ways in which the human body and heart respond to trauma.
Color has a significant influence on perception. It is often used to evoke or describe emotions. The way that particular colors influence us individually, however, is unique, and may be based on one’s culture, gender, religion, and even biology. The paintings in the wave series are an interplay of color, and are indicative of my emotional state at the time of composition.
Featured image on this page: Laura Hapka ‘Decomposing Dreams,’ acrylic paint and resin on wood panel, 24″x24″