The Healing Power of Art

In the presence of art, we may experience inspiration, wonder, and even hope; it can spark our imagination, creativity, and thinking. Our internal awareness and capacity for transformation can expand through experiences with art.

When in front of an artwork, we are connected to the artist and to others who have experienced it. And connection, to ourselves and others, is at the core of art and healing.

Healing isn’t a destination with a fixed timeline or endpoint but rather a path, or many paths. Just like each visit with a favorite work of art is a new experience with new insights, healing is a journey with possibilities stretching out in all directions.

- edited from an online MoMa article by Jackie Armstrong; Associate Educator, Visitor Research and Experience 

Jane McWhirter • Artist Bio

Jane Reväe McWhirter(she/her) is a visual artist from Saskatoon, SK, Treaty 6 Territory. Jane received her BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, majoring in painting and ceramics, but explored everything from embroidery to sound-based installation.

Jane uses art as a creative outlet, exploring various mediums while channelling emotion into her work. She explores themes of healing, vulnerability, connection, growth, overcoming trauma, mental health, feminism, floral and fauna in her work.

Her soft, spooky styles can be seen in a variety of mediums, including pottery, paintings, prints, stationary and more. Her work often features women in a wide array of emotions in an attempt to explore the strength and power of being a woman who is honouring and embracing her authentic self. @janerevaeart on FB + IG

Artist Statement

I usually jump into a painting without knowing how it will turn out—letting my subconscious guide my brush, colour choice, and subject matter. Without a plan, it is after the work is complete that I begin to unpack what it means. I learn about myself as visuals from my dreams, topics of interest, and themes from my life begin to surface. For me, creating has been a way of connecting with my subconscious. It has been a way to better understand myself.

After creating daily for over ten years, in late 2020, everything came to a screeching halt. I had been creative through many stressful times in my life and assumed this wouldn’t last long, but this was unlike other times; it didn't pass. I was in such a low place that I couldn’t handle basic self-care, let alone create. I realize now I was severely burnt out. I didn’t have a clue what it would take to get my body out of survival mode, but I knew this time, I was much deeper than I had ever been. For the first time in my life, I knew I couldn’t get myself out of this alone. I needed help. Slowly but surely, I started to build a team of professionals, including a psychologist, osteopath, physiotherapist, RMT, naturopath, – and several others. This allowed me to understand how trauma had not only impacted my mind, but also my body and nervous system. There was validation in others being able to feel the stiffness and pain in my body. There was so much healing by having others point out physical evidence of my dysregulated nervous system. It took so much trust to let them help me and to be vulnerable enough to let them in. By prioritizing my wellness, illness and self, I was able to decrease my chronic mental and physical pain. Although this will likely be an ongoing process throughout the rest of my life, I am so grateful to have a team to help me through the worst of it.

Alongside my appointments, I delved into self-care. Learning how to breathe, rest, stretch, and let go was hard – and embarrassing. I was in my early 30s, and these bodily functions that were meant to be automatic were manual in my body. I had to constantly unclench my jaw, turn my fist back into a hand and remember to exhale. I was so used to being in flight or fight. The first time I heard my stomach growl was during an appointment with my osteopath three years into my journey. I lay in silence whenever I could, thrilled at the sounds of my stomach and enchanted by the feeling of digestion, something so many take for granted, but with no conscious memory of these bodily functions, I was overjoyed to experience them and years of hard work had started to pay off. Alongside my appointments, I referenced a wide variety of books, resources, podcasts, and articles to understand others' journey of healing trauma and recovery methods. Influenced by my research and healing journey, I began to write. Writing is a constant struggle; each sentence is a fight to get out—an awkward stumble to put my thoughts into a cohesive sentence. I wrote stories based on my life, filtered through my perception and occasionally altered to protect parts of myself. Even though I dislike writing, I find it beneficial to understand myself. Through writing, I can break down overwhelming topics into manageable pieces. I can step back, take space and see myself with clarity and compassion. Through the struggle of writing, I began to feel inspired to create.

Inspired by my journey, these paintings came to life in record time. Each was 90% completed in one sitting. A flood of tears and emotions took over; they flowed out of me in a blur.

The High Priestess of Repair strives to make things better. She and her tools are tired and worn down, but she persists. She pulls herself together and works to the best of her ability. She faces the world. She untangles her tools and tries to make them work. She keeps moving one step at a time. Exhausted and heavy, she continues with hopes that things will one day be easier. The Patron Saint of Self Care is only seen by those most trusted. She works tirelessly to try to send any love left inward. Through blurry vision and hot, tear-stained skin, she tries to approach her inner self with kindness. Untangling her hair and prepping herself for rest, she seeks to make even the most uncomfortable moments soft. Instead of fighting back tears, she welcomes them with comfort, acceptance and compassion. The Goddess of Greif is never seen by others. She is emotion without thoughts, feelings without words, she is deep within. She is dissociation. She is trapped. She is the part that never got out, and she visits me in my dreams. She accepts her pain and handles it in a relaxed state, resisting fighting what she cannot change—trying to preserve some level of tranquillity amongst the chaos.

I used to sell drawings of flowers door to door as a child, painted gothic as a teen, and believe art saved my life at twenty when I first started my healing journey. Over the past 14 years, my art has been focused on recovery and active self-care through art-making. When I am not doing well, I create artwork to soothe myself. This work is a refuge - a place for me to release energy and calm my mind. When I am doing better mentally, I create expressive, personal, and cathartic pieces. This work is significant and helps me understand myself. I’ve always felt like they were separate processes and that one was more valuable than the other, but I know they cannot exist separately. When I am unwell, art takes care of me, and when I am doing better, I am able to create more challenging and therapeutic work. Both methods support me and allow me to release tension in different ways. I feel like I understand myself better through my work. I look forward to supporting myself with softness, compassion and care as I continue this journey.


April - June 2024



Self Care

Self Care



Art Items for sale

There are a variety of items from cards, post-it notes, stationary paper, notepads, prints and bookmarks.

Are You an Artist Interested in Exhibiting at BHC?

If so, click on the link below to email us and share a bit about yourself and your artwork, your contact information and a couple of samples of your work (or a link to instagram or facebook). 

We look forward to hearing from you.