Hi, my name is Ameena Chisanga, also known as Wendy Anderson and I want to thank you for visiting my website. Welcome to my Bohemian Loft, my haven of creative expression and healing.
My names were given to me by special surrogate family. Ameena is Somali and means Amen...keeper of truths and words. Chisanga is Zambian for found. I was told my name means Keeper of Found Words by a Ojibwa Shaman.
I am a mixed media artist on a mission to give voice to social issues, illuminate the beautiful fragility of the natural world, and pay tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. I aspire to whisper reminders of inner joy and strength, especially to those searching for inspiration, validation, and escape through a variety of artistic representation and media. My favorite mediums are fused glass, encaustics, acrylic & water color paint, and of course drawing.
In 2015, I unknowingly began the long journey down the road of living with chronic pain when I gave birth to our second daughter. My pain drained me of my active lifestyle and challenged me to be the mother I envisioned being upon the arrival of our youngest daughter. Two years of cortisone shots and no treatment plans besides pain medication, left me at what I can only describe as being
“the lowest I've ever felt in all my life”.
It wasn’t until the winter of 2017 that I embarked on a new path towards healing when I began the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program at Courage Kenny. It was here that I began to draw and paint whimsical forms that birthed The Alter Egos. In a group of four wildly different women, bound by the same lows of pain, we began exploring who we were, who we had been, who we would like to be and all the possibilities in between and amidst the tears and laughter, I began to heal.
“I used my ladies as inspiration in the darkest moments when I needed to muster strength and hope for my future.”
The outlook of my future over the previous 18 months had only led to grief, a sense of lacking and loss, but through this camaraderie the future slowly began to no longer look as bleak. My art began to grow as well; it changed showing more of the joy and silliness I had gleaned from my students over the years. I had survived the eye of the storm and I continue to grow more resilient, more filled with gratitude, and more hopeful of a better tomorrow.
The future is still unknown and days are still wrought with waves of pain and related issues, yet this journey has provided answers, and an improved treatment plan, with healing at the core. I was diagnosed with hEDS (hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) in October 2018. EDS is a rare, connective tissue disorder and therefore affects all systems of the body. There is no cure and treatment currently focuses more on management and a preventative approach, but I'm not going anywhere! I'm stronger than ever and determined to share this regained sense of inner joy, strength, and hope with others. Those living with chronic conditions know, every day is a new day and there is nothing sweeter than feeling the satisfaction of having lived it to one’s fullest! To anyone, and especially to those facing pain and adversity – my art and my Alter Egos in particular are cheering you on from a spot next to you in the trenches.
Veni, vidi, vici, vexi
I came, I saw, I conquered, I lived