Bear Medicine Spirit, Roel Crabbé, 2004
99 x 99 cm – Acrylic on canvas
Griet and I were invited to accompany “Medicine Dance” in Sweden, a five-day shamanic dance workshop. A few weeks before the workshop I made a trance journey to my teachers in the Dreamworld, with the intention to receive further instructions for this workshop.
I met them and asked for advice. Silently I hoped for a ready-made formula for the workshop. They were laughing flat and joking at me that it does not work like that. They told me it was important that I opened up to listen and did not have to worry about searching. “Listen, that’s what it’s about,” they said.
That night I got a powerful dream. Bear, a trusted guide in the dream world, came to me and looked me in the eye. He showed me this painting and told me to watch. It was as if the painting opened something in me. I woke up in a state of deep peace and excitement at the same time.
Bear had told me that my personal preparation for the workshop was to make this painting and that I had to hang it above the altar in Sweden. I painted it and hung it above the altar. During those 5 wonderful days I experienced how this painting looked at me and carried the energy of the workshop. Every moment I felt carried and the nights were filled with clear dreams and instructions for the next day.
As a group we were all deeply touched by the presence of this work, which invited us to openness and healing. It was the first time in my life that I experienced so clearly that through a work of art we not only look into another dimension, but this dimension also looks inside us.
“Bear Medicine Spirit” is the first work that arose from my experiences in the Dreamworld and turned out to be the beginning of a new phase in my life and artistic work. It carries the healing power of Bear and is experienced as healing by many people.