Can Art Really Help People Feel Safe?: A Gallery Talk

Earlier this month I was speaking to a crowd gathered at the gallery where my current exhibit is being held, eager to learn about the effect of art on one’s environment.

I spoke about the energy and vibrational field present in every object, human-made or natural, in birds and fish, in dogs and all animals, in our vegetation, in the stars, sun, moon…in everything! Sharing a sentence from the ancient sacred religious and philosophical teachings from India, the Upanishads, “When a blade of grass is cut, the whole universe quivers”, I emphasized that what is in artworks — a combination of the artist’s intention, the energy of the materials and that of the colors, shapes and textures — have great influence on viewers and even more on those who install the art in their homes.

Art, I said, may have an insidious or benevolent voice, depending on the above mentioned factors. But this apparently inconspicuous voice never shuts off, and like “a blade of grass…cut” continuously affects the livelihood of the household or the business where it resides.

When someone creates a sacred object with intentions to heal and protect, they may use prayer to focus on thoughts that are best for those who commission it and to actively engage the help of a greater power, such as God, the angels, Spirit, Allah or the Universe, while creating it. These practices result, is very powerful art.

MSR Door Protector by Lidia KenigThe signature art I call Door Protectors, is an example of such creations, and is perhaps a twist on other symbols commonly used for personal protection, such as the Christian cross, images of Jesus, or the Evil Eye, the Buddhist Abhaya Mudra hand or the Jewish Mezuzah.

In all cases, the aforementioned symbols are either worn or are affixed somewhere near an entrance to a space. The ancient art and science of Feng Shui places great emphasis on entry doors to any space as a portal between random energy and the more controlled energy of the lived-in environment, and as an important element that provides conscious opportunities to shift from one mindset and onto another.

In fact, the state and placement of the front door in any home or business is the most important determinant of the health and well-being of the people who use the space.

Thus, the Door Protectors I have been creating for the past 8 years are always installed above the front door, and are filled with images, crystals, objects and other symbols that I intuited to be beneficial for the people who requested the art.  At the center of all the paintings there is an ancient Sanskrit mantra written in Tibetan script, called the Wish Granting Jewel Mantra, and it is the mantra I continuously chant as I paint and tap into the Divine heart.

After the paintings are completed, I help the home owners or business executives install the art with intention and consult with them as needed to insure that they will derive maximum benefits from the customized artwork.

In addition to the nearly unbelievable stories of growth, unexpected income, health related occurrences that caused people to resolve previously elusive physical symptoms, and shifts in jobs, friendships and difficult relationships, that I collected over the years, three of the attendees to the gallery talk stated that they purposely came to the presentation because they owned Door Protectors I created for them and were eager to tell others about the positive effects said art form has had in their lives.

Stories ranged from feeling rudderless and now able to refocus their minds into a satisfying life direction, to summoning the courage to ask for a divorce and feeling free and yes, protected in all endeavors, to a corporate lawyer who by working daily with the art, shifted the fortunes and the culture of a well-respected law firm. A young rescue worker stationed in Florida during the recent ravages of hurricane Irma found his living quarters nearly intact and livable upon return, even though it was located amongst many inundated units. He stated that he connects with his Door Protector daily.

When people asked that I identify what specifically makes the art protective, I started by focusing on the ancient mantra’s 12 syllables. These are the visual equivalents of 12 recommended Buddhist practices leading to a fulfilling life. The colors, shapes, textures and other objects in the mixed media paintings provide visual cues people need to feel empowered to lead a purposeful life. Together, they comprise the essence of the protection the art provides.

In other words, when a person is engaged in doing what they love, cares deeply for the well-being of others and compassionately acts on it; when one speaks, thinks and acts guided by love, and sees every life situation as a learning experience, he/she will feel empowered. Such practices form a personal shield that cannot be easily pierced.

The sacred art can help people feel safe because it constantly mirrors and informs its owners on the state of their shields.

If you are interested in commissioning a Door Protector or want to start by ordering a print, please go to,  Door Protectors 


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