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Bohème Magazine Review
Review of The Inspired Heart by Eamon Graham

The Inspired Heart: An Artist's Journey of Transformation is an autobiographical account by artist Jerry Wennstrom who, at the age of 29, turned his back on a successful career, destroyed his prolific corpus of work and gave away all of his possessions. In a similar vein as Kerouac, Jerry went out on a decade-long search to find those vital truths that many are never so inclined to look for.

The Inspired Heart details in stories from Jerry's experiences the results of this great experiment in surrender as well as the conclusions he draws from them. Through the stories you'll meet the colourful characters Jerry came across and explore the places which became the settings for his experiment, living simply on whatever came his way in a spirit of surrender, or "letting go" as Jerry calls it. This letting go can be directly likened to a Kierkegaardian leap that not only transformed him as a person, but unleashed more vital currents in him as an artist.

A spiritual journey, yes, but The Inspired Heart has escaped from the cliché catch-phrases and stock images that have become part of other such testaments; this gives The Inspired Heart a credit and sincerity lacking in other works. The result is sincerely spiritual rather than pseudo-spiritual.

You may find some aspects of Jerry's philosophy debateable: is, for example, the "singular requirement of Grace," as Jerry writes, "to remain fearlessly attuned to the heart?" Or is Grace what it is because it is free of any requirement at all? No one, however, can argue with the sincerety of the spirit which he reveals in these pages, which matured through honestly-won experience.

In addition to the black-and-white photographs which illustrate these stories, The Inspired Heart contains 16 pages of colour photos of Jerry's recent sculptures (some of which are featured here). His sculptures, which are interactive, life-sized and multifaceted, speak to us as artifacts from a lost, formerly unknown civilization. But this civilization is not lost, having come to us from inside Jerry's own spirit.

The Inspired Heart is the story of how Jerry Wennstrom the artist got to this point.

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