Survivor Stories

A Battle in the Brain

Post on 31/01/17

This creative depiction of one aspect of a stroke survivor’s experience was drawn by the talented Mr Clifford Chua, himself a survivor. He shares what inspired him.

“The genesis of the whole process took place as I was lying motionless in the MRI chamber. Hearing all the sounds the machine made conjured up macabre images in my head of the battle that was going on in my brain. I imagined that there was war going on, and that literally and metaphorically, my brain was under assault. I started putting the images in my head onto my iPad immediately when I got back to the ward. I had no profound statements to make, no philosophy to expound except to depict that this was how I saw the condition that I was in. Part of it was to express the humour of it all, while part of it was me wanting to assure myself that the stroke had not taken away my creativity and skills. 
“The nature of art is such that it can work on multiple levels and people will read whatever they want into it anyway. The battle can be one between hope and despair, between determination and doubt, even between Western and Eastern treatment philosophies. You can add your own interpretation to that list. Art means different things to different people, and people derive different meanings out of it. Rather than insisting on one interpretation, I leave it open.”

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