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The Depth of a Smile

Posted on: December 8th, 2020 by Vannessa Circe | No Comments
The Depth of a Smile

The Depth of a Smile

Oil on Canvas – 36” x 48”
January 2020
In this painting l explore recent neuroscience research focused on the fascinating evolution and function of the limbic system, which harbors emotions and memories. What inspired me to paint about this theme was work I have done with victims of tragedies and abuses in two very distinct countries and cultures: Colombia and Cambodia. Their laughter and beaming smiles are infectious, almost enough so that one forgets about the pain and suffering that has been endured; this is clearly the unconscious point. To constantly relive the experience of death, rape, hunger, slavery, displacement, sickness and abject poverty, no matter if threats remain or not, completely inhibits any ability to function, maintain, or improve the situation. The smiles of these people represents a deep mechanism that is helping them to cope and survive.

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