Looking for Something?

Doug Moran National Portrait Prize Semi Finalist


Communicating pain…

Self Portrait, Art and Chronic PainAbsolutely gobsmacked at this achievement, and incredibly confused at the same time. Who would have thought a horrifying life changing event could bring so much reward. Nevertheless, I’m going with it and am stoked to be considered for semi finalist. Self Portrait (art and chronic pain) will be heading up to Sydney next week for the next round confirming finalists for the National prize.

View all the semi finalists here, read more about the prize here and view the 2012 finalists here.

About the portrait

A self portrait of a self portrait. A marionette is the only way I thought to express my living with chronic pain. I lost my independence and yet the debilitating qualities couldn’t be seen on my exterior. No one could grasp my torment by looking at me, in fact I looked ‘well’. I lost my control in life and the pain directed my days for many years… for some days it still does.

This painting of me as a marionette, I believe, is a fitting self portrait of me, perhaps even for anyone else with any kind of invisible pain.

Currently this is how I see myself but I remain hopeful that this image will change one day.

Follow the pain story: facebook, rss, twitter.


  • Melissa Williams-Brown

    Congrats to you! I hope you make it to the finals! I also live with chronic pain from a degenerative spinal condition….many people just don’t understand. I’m also waiting to hear if my photographic contribution made it to the finals….maybe I’ll see you at the awards ceremony later this month! Fingers crossed for us both. Melissa Williams–Brown

    • Soula Mantalvanos

      My goodness Melissa! Don’t like hearing about your pain but congratulations on coping and being a semi finalist for your portrait also. Such a waiting game, yes, fingers and toes crossed!!! Would be lovely to meet at the awards. As much as I hate pain, it certainly brings some interesting moments… just have a look at this one. Wild isn’t it? x

      • Melissa Brown

        It is wild…I am beginning to think that pain + talent = great things. I have an artist friend in the US that struggles with chronic pain and his work is amazing….I guess if there is such a thing as a bright side to the pain, then the works produced would be it. :-/

  • Tanya Nelson

    Congratulations! I hope you win. This painting moved me so much, I can stop looking at it. With a life of debilitating pain and the almost as bad legal process, I have often felt just like this. Will you be doing some prints to sell?

    • Soula Mantalvanos

      Tanya that’s such a beautiful comment but I’m sad to hear you understand. That damn legal process is such an added mountain we don’t need. I’m not sure if I’ll create prints but I am working on a small book that will include this image. I’ll keep you posted! Thanks again for the encouragement, understanding and empathy. It helps me cope also and I feel I’m helping in someway when others can get so much out of my creativity. Take care of yourself.

      • Melissa

        How did you go, Soula? Have you heard yet?

        • Soula Mantalvanos

          No news yet. Final deliveries happening today so not really expecting to hear for the next few days. More anxt, pain levels please stay low!

          • Melissa

            Oh my gosh…I figured they were behind on things….yes, pain levels please stay low! x

  • Kathryn Malic

    Congratulations to you Soula! I love your self portrait, wishing a final win!

  • Bam's Kitchen

    Congratulations Soula!! I see you more of a Pinocchio that believed and became a “real live boy” and one day if you believe, you will be “free of pain”. Keep thinking positive. Take Care, Bobbi

  • Jacinta

    congratulations! So many wonderful portraits, including yours of course. I don’t know how they will decide. I am glad I am not a judge. Good luck!!!

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to my newsletter

Subscribe to my blog posts

Enter your email address to subscribe to new posts by email.

Definitions of pain

What is Pudendal Neuralgia (PN)?
Most simply put PN is Carpal Tunnel in the pelvis/buttocks. Compression of the Pudendal Nerve occurs after trauma to the pelvis and is aggravated with pressure. The pain is often described as a toothache like pain, with spasms, sensations of tingling, numbness, or burning. It can be very debilitating.

What is Neuropathic pain?
Neuropathic pain is the result of an injury or malfunction in the peripheral or central nervous system. The pain is often triggered by an injury, but this injury may or may not involve actual damage to the nervous system. More…

Pain Train my online health record. New SPECIAL price $14.95 per year






Order my book $31 (inc. postage)