Contemporary Art

Cynthia Carson


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**Cynthia Carson, Artist** After living on three continents—Europe (Germany, Scotland and England) and both North and South America—Cynthia decided to make Canada her home. She spent time in Ontario before arriving in Alberta over a decade ago. Professionally trained in photography, Cynthia has always had an affinity for arts and crafts and has been taught the art of making moccasins after marrying into a Métis family. Soon she found beading to be a favourite way to relax and rewind. In 2018 her craftwork became about more than relaxation; it was also rehabilitation. Cynthia had sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) that left her fighting for her life, and in one second of one day _normal_ came to an end. Cynthia had to relearn a lot of things—writing, walking without aid, managing stairs, even putting jam on toast. Gone were the days of working as a senior administrative professional, or peering through a camera looking for a great subject, or getting lost in crafting detailed beadwork. Now, her art is a CAN in a world of CAN’Ts. Cynthia’s motto became “when life is filled with things you can no longer do, you need to find something you can do”.  Unwilling to simply give up and accept her fate, she decided to begin her own kind of rehabilitation.  Inspired by a piece of native art, by an unknown artist, at her brother-in-law’s house, she decided to try using up some spare leather to just do _something_. Something that would allow her to work on cognitive function, fine motor skills, concentration, endurance and so much more. Cynthia’s pieces are created by spending 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes on a task before calling it a day. On other days she might manage an hour or so. Each piece is significant—creating it has helped Cynthia to redevelop lost skills, to work through trauma, and to rediscover the joy of creating. \- Connect with Cynthia on Instagram @CynCarsonArt