As a medical librarian I see a huge amount of research around recovery from illness or injury, but it is often missing that individual, human element that makes life a joy. Miraculous as it is, there is only so far that science and medicine can go – and then it is up to us to discover how we can add the colour to our lives.

I made this 3 minute video in 2014 for the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery Research Week Art Competition (now there’s a mouthful!). The theme of the competition was “Science in Art. in Science”. To me, that summed up personal recovery beautifully. But how to explain something that I see as a process of change in a static piece of work? I grabbed my daughter’s camcorder, propped it tentatively over my trestle table and got to work on my canvas. This is the result.

And the finished piece? Well, the original was given to my mentor, Gaye Moore, who managed the Optimal Health Program at St Vincent’s. I knew my red kombi van would have a good home with Gaye, given her passion for promoting wellbeing and self efficacy.

I also made another version of my painting which I feel is more about general wellbeing and making decisions about where we want to travel. The concept is very similar, but focuses less on “recovery” and more on personal growth, which is relevant to all of us, regardless of whether we have a chronic illness or difficulty to deal with. I believe every one of us has things in our lives that we want to change and build on. That version is available from my print shop.

Where would your kombi take you?