Cathleen Mahan

Resilience1 Mahan 042117

Resilience

Cathleen Mahan

About the artist: 

Cathleen Mahan is a contemporary visual artist and a former critical-care nurse. She maintains an active studio practice in Portland, Maine. “Putting pencil to paper or hands to clay is, for me, a doorway into a nonverbal world outside of time that offers deep healing and balance. It is also where I feel most alive.”

About the artwork:

“Brought to tears by the change-of-shift report describing the circumstance of this young boy’s traumatic injuries, I struggled to enter his ICU room. He, on the other hand, was busy trying to find out if the EKG tracing would still register if he moved an electrode to his head. It did.”

Visuals editor:

Justin Sanders

XmasEve

X-mas Eve

Cathleen Mahan

About the artist: 

Cathleen Mahan is a contemporary visual artist and a registered nurse specializing in critical care. “I’ve long known that my experience as a nurse informs my artwork. The same quality of touch that reassures a frightened patient becomes a creative source in the studio. Never, however, has my artwork been so directly linked to my patients as in the body of work that includes this drawing.”

About the artwork:

“One day last year while attending to the usual studio tasks, I felt compelled to draw. Inexplicably, I found myself furiously rendering the memory of a patient I cared for thirty-five years ago. Over the course of the next month a total of eighteen patients/experiences/memories beckoned me to revisit them through drawing. The process was humbling and curious. As any healthcare professional will attest, certain patients stay with us, welcome or not. These hitchhikers of memory, it seems, have a purpose after all. …

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