Jonah was tormented by persistent voices in his head, urging him to warn the people of their misbehavior and the impending punishment. Desperate to silence these voices, he decided to escape their demands by boarding a ship that sailed far away from civilization, hoping that hese voices will go away.
After three days at sea, a violent storm emerged. Jonah couldn't help but feel responsible for the tempest brewing around him, he believed that his presence was causing the chaos, and he wanted to jump overboard to save the ship and its crew from further destruction.
The shipmen, recognizing Jonah's distraught state, implored him to remain calm and wait for the storm to pass. They dismissed his self-blame as the ravings of a troubled mind. Yet, as the storm relentlessly raged on for three days, the shipmen's patience wore thin, driven to madness by Jonah's incessant cries of guilt and responsibility. They decided to throw him overboard.
Jonah found himself swallowed by a huge whale. Inside the belly of this magnificent creature, Jonah discovered a newfound tranquility. The deafening voices that had haunted him were silenced, shielded by the whale's thick and protective skin. Jonah realized he was not alone in the whale
This mural, spanning roughly 25 by 4 meters, serves as a tribute to those who sought solace from their mental health challenges at the Public Psychiatric Centre OPZ Geel in Belgium and was a gift from De Geelse Beren to that institute.
In creating my design, I drew inspiration from the biblical tale of Jonah and the whale, which, in my view, offers insights beyond its religious interpretation.