"You Have To Take Responsibility For Your Own Happiness "
For the female artist Lajla Skafte Bang the creative universe
became her rescue, after a car accident left her invalid. Cph- art met her in
Metrobar where she exhibits her paintings until 7th Sept 08.
It all started one day while Lajla was out bicycling with her
3 yr old daughter and was knocked off her bike when a man accidentally opened his
car door. Lajla was thrown over the car and landed in the middle of the road on
her back. Luckily her daughter was unhurt thanks being the child seat
that she was still strapped to the bike. Lajla at that moment found that
she was unable to walk and thus this being the start of a 3 year period of being
bedridden.Although Lajla was bedridden  during this
time and had almost no physical activity her mental state was not effected by
"Sometimes things happen for a reason that`s  unexplainable"


This could explain the sudden visit of one of Lajla`s friends
one day in December. With her she had bought a drawing Christmas calender
gift. This meant that Lajla had a drawing exercise  working with light and
shadow  that she had to do every day  throughout

The creative process that the calender commanded meant
that Lajla could loose herself in the artwork which inevitably took her focus
away from the constant pain she was in. 

A couple of days later Lajla had another  friend
visit,  and she too had a gift for Lajla - Frida
Kahlo`s  autobiography. The autobiography of a women whom had something in
common with Lajla an accident involving her back.

This book inspired Lajla in exactly the same way as Frida
Kahlo became inspired, and with a great fighting courage overcame this obstacle
and forthright brought about her fantastic  creativity.

A few weeks later her calendar friend popped over for tea and
was pleasantly surprised by the progress Lajla had made. This encouraged Lajla
to start a self- educating program at home in the works of art. The process not
only became training for this upcoming artist, but also a form of meditation
which helped her out  of her pain infused medicinised state.


"It is my belief that when you do something that makes you
happy it will inavertly effect and help heal inwardly.Throughout this long process I have learned that balance both
physically and mentally are of great importance for the well being in life. Thus
being happy in what you do or just happy in oneself creates a positive balance
which reflects your life."
cph #Would you say then, that if you feel you are unable to do
something or have no wish to do something then you have no joy in your
life ?
"Firstly for me I had a choice either I could take the dark
path or I could take the road with a light at the end of the tunnel. I took the
latter which was by no means the easiest - I chose to do things that made me
cph#Did you  have a feeling like things were planned
or was it just a coincidence that 2 friends came by, first the calendar and
then the book?
"Yes I did, though not a total coincidence as I believe those
gifts were meant to bring me peace and harmony, without them I probably wouldn`t
have achieved it. You have to understand physically I was an enormously active
person before the accident and I taught aerobics  on a daily basis, so for
me relaxing and doing nothing was an  extremely difficult and stressful
period. I have come a long way and the creative learning process of finding my
inner peace is the  journey that has made me the person I am today.
For me the most important thing here in life is to be  both happy and
to be able to bring joy to other peoples life - thus having the ability to
create positive energy. My paintings are a reflection of the learning process I
have been through and the importance of happiness in life."
cph#What about the pain you endured has it
"No not entirely, I am still in pain from time to time and
thankfully I can get through the worst times without medication, due to a little
self help medicine in the form of acupuncture and a pain therapist. My main
focus though is the intense concentration level I have developed when I paint.

Mylife has been turned upside down since the accident, even though I can`t run
or make sudden wild movements which I miss terribly I have had to adjust and
limit myself."
cph#But it has not held you back or even stopped you in your
tracks! You are developing new techniques and really making a name for yourself
on the art scene.
"No it hasn`t. I got into the habit of painting and it is
something I take very seriously. It all started  back in 2001
with drawing sketches and then I progressed to painting on
 canvas in 2003. The whole painting process period developed very quickly
and in 2005 I held my first exhibition.

It has been a valueable learning process for me to see the progress I have made over the last few years. I have
learned to become creative and this has helped me overcome the challenges I have
faced, it has also given me a whole new prospect in the
way I think."
cph# You have  2 pictures of Dalai Lama in your
collection, why is that?
"I think that Dalai Lama plays an important role in the
world today. He represents one of the most important virtues in life ... love.
He is also a great leader of his people and was exiled out of his own country. I
think he is a unique person who has dedicated his life to helping others. I
read one of his books  - The art of a happy life. One of
his attitudes to life is that we have to solve our problems as best as
we can but if we can`t then we must let them go and move on in life.

I think he is a very wise man who has a down to earth attitude and outlook on
life. He is of great inspiration to me so it was natural of course that I paint
him.One of the messages he sends out to the world is one I use daily. If I don`t
take my own pain seriously then  I am unable to take responsibility of
my life  and it won`t get better. The same can be said in all aspects of
life. It is a shame we don`t always find the time in our everyday lives to
experience inner peace and calmness or to ask ourselves what is our purpose in
life.It is truly a great gift to be at one with oneself and to know you
have chosen the right path in life.
I have also painted Nelson Mandela he has also a
personality that is unique. As with D.L he too comes from a different
background and is a leader of his people who has spent most of his life in
prison, this is why I have painted N.M face in one face both as old and
cph#Would you say it is your belief that bad things
happen for a reason and often turn out to be a  valuable lesson in life,
and that sometimes the good things in life have a down side if one takes them
for granted?


"Yes definitely ! I think we need to listen to each other and
carry on asking questions to find our aim in life. I truly believe by finding
your aim in life makes you a happier person. This is of course not as easy as it
sounds and at times can be thoroughly confusing especially if you have many
desires at once. I am very lucky I have found my aim in life  - the thing
that makes me happy.

Sometimes we think to much over life too, and of all the
things we could do only if we had everything we required. But if we had
everything we required would it make us happy?  Would we be contented with
the person we were before we had it all? The real question we need to ask
is  what can we do that makes us happy? If you are not doing the
thing that makes you happy then you need a change of circumstances. Take
responsibility of your own happiness instead of expecting others to bring it to

Oversat af Tracy Bograd, som også er en fantastisk konditor se mere her
: www.crazykager.dk/