Kathleen H. Peters

Many religious texts begin with the creation of our world performed by a divine being. In the Christian tradition God created beauty – all of creation – out of nothing and bestowed it as a gift for humanity to enjoy. He created out of love and passion and in complete gratuity. To me, this ancient literature defines art: beauty born of goodness and offered as a gift of love.

As a trauma survivor, I suffer from complex-PTSD. In trauma recovery, I have learned many things about how experiences affect the human body. They profoundly shape who we are, how we behave and what we believe. In the emerging field of neuroscience, we are learning that trauma affects not only how the brain works, but how it is shaped. Trauma negatively affects even our muscles and immune systems. Everything that is not love destroys, desecrates and crushes – mentally, physically and spiritually.

But now neuroscience is showing beauty and love have profound effects too. They transform and regenerate – mentally, physically and spiritually. Everything I have experienced confirms this. I have come to believe beauty and love produce a far greater force than I ever before imagined. They have paved a path to sleeping better, improved health, hope and joy. They have assuaged anxiety, alleviated depression and eased my burdens. Love and beauty are a balm to the wounds we bear. They are life giving.

My artwork is more than just a collection of pretty objects. My artwork is beauty and love made tangible, not to avoid or ignore the brokenness around us, but to speak into it. My work is my gift to my community; it is intended to offer wonder, hope, peace, unity and grace. It is intended to build connection and relationship, and to give value and dignity. It is meant to be a conduit through which goodness can shine and care can be given.

While my paintings can stand alone, most of the subjects are metaphors that were intentionally chosen to speak into the lives of people around me and into the culture we share. Much of my work is accompanied by creative writing intended to enhance its richness and depth. My website includes many of these writings.