Olivia Boa, of Swiss-French origin, was born in 1981 in a Parisian suburb of the Yvelines region. She was drawn to the artistic world, most notably painting, very early on and began her apprenticeship at the age of 10 under the painter Yves Armani, who taught her all the rudiments of Fine Art. From the age of 14 she continued teach herself and work on and research, painting.
In 1998, Olivia decided to throw off the shackles of conventional academic painting, turning instead towards abstract painting. In 2012, Olivia Boa became a commercial artist, with her works being sold at auction. She held a series of exhibitions at international venues, such as The Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art, Art Basel Miami, the L.A. Art Fair, the Caroussel du Louvre, The Hong Kong and Shanghai Art Show, Oxford Art Fair, The McCord Museum, Montreal… but was also exhibited in galleries in New York, Paris, Berlin, Milan, and Dubai
In 2013, her 6-month-old son was diagnosed blind and severely disabled. Olivia channeled this through her art and painted blind-folded, experimenting with pure Expressionism. In 2014, Olivia brought together her neurological research and Art, and developed the concept of Boan Ocular Kinetics, a principle based on an equation which allows the potential difference of wavelengths of light and the effect on the human brain to be calculated. The artist can thus interplay with the brain activity of those who observe her creations in only three minutes. Her research activities were verified by EEG. In 2015, the artist set up the company ‘Boa Creations and Innovations Inc.’ with the aim of disseminating her research in the form of textile designs.
At the age of 9 Olivia asked her mother to sign her up for boxing lessons! ‘Never!’ Retorted her mother! ‘Too dangerous! You can do boxing when you’re 18 and don’t need parental consent anymore!’ ‘I was 9 years old… 18 was twice my age. I thought I’d never reach that age… and I waited until I was 18 to enter a Paris boxing hall.’
From that moment on, Olivia Boa undertook daily kick-boxing training, then put on the gloves. She won championships in France, and made it to the French and then the Swiss teams, as an amateur boxer.
In 2009, it became official. The French team trainer informed her that the 2012 Olympic Games would be open for the first time to female boxers. That year, a boxing manager in Switzerland spotted her and suggested that she go pro. Her decision was made, and Olivia turned pro. Very few girls in Switzerland do. But by making this decision, Olivia burnt her bridge to the 2012 Olympics, as once she had gone professional, there was no comeback.
By 2009, Olivia Boa was already a mother of two and was juggling her therapist’s work and a career as a professional sportswoman.
By 2011, she was already one of the world’s top five female boxers in her (welter weight) class and in June 2011, she fought out the double world title against the formidable Anne-Sophie Mathis, who had been crowned world champion many times. A total perfectionist, Olivia over-trained. She was forced to abandon the fight following a double fracture of the jaw, due to stress fractures.
At the end of 2011, Olivia had to give up her sport, and ever getting into the ring again, after a botched operation on her jaw in Marseilles: the consultant did manage to pin it together with plates and screws, but the drill bit broke off in her jaw. Neither the doctor nor the hospital noticed and allowed Olivia to return to Switzerland with an inch of drill-bit wedged in her jaw-bone. With added infections and further operations, this medical negligence brought an end to her competitions.
The Boa Project
In 2012 Olivia gave birth to her 3rd child, Soltan (meaning ‘Strength’) whom she had with fellow boxer Mohammed Belkacem. When they chose this name, the parents could not have known that this child would need strength all his life. From the first hours of his life, the newborn needed special care and was hospitalized in a special care unit at the Berne Inselspital.
Aged 6 months, Soltan was again rushed to hospital with severe epileptic fits. Doctors diagnosed multiple conditions. He was missing a part of the pituitary gland in his brain, Soltan was blind and could neither speak nor eat and had hypertonia (meaning he would never walk or sit up on his own). He was diagnosed lacking insulin with diabetes insipidus (so could not retain water in his body) and was severely epileptic. Soltan’s life-chances were not good.
The hardest part was to manage his epileptic fits which caused him horrible pain and were damaging his brain. The only remedy offered by the hospital was rectal injections of high dose Valium. But the Valium drained the infant and made him lifeless. Soltan was suffering and had dozens of fits a day. Olivia Boa, who was passionate about neurology, began to do everything to manage her son’s stress. She immersed herself in scientific reports on binaural beats and their influence on brain waves for stress management.
Thus was born Project Boa. As a therapist and artist, Olivia then developed audio headphones with numerous neurological configurations such as binaural beats, monotone sounds, and cardiac bi-phasing and subliminal messages, so as to soothe the child at times of stress, acting directly on his brain-waves.
The result was spectacular! At the start of each fit, the simple act of putting on the headphones and activating the music at specific frequencies allowed her to literally shut down the fit, without the need for Valium.
Project Boa and Athletes
Following excellent results obtained with the Project Boa headphones, Olivia has continued her research, to understand more about the physiological results that can be obtained by a combination of sounds. She finances her research independently and measures the results of listening to the headphones by EEG and blood-tests. Already, a number of people have had to resort to this method; in particular, people sensitive to stress (depression or burn-out) and top-level sports-men and women.
It particularly helps athletes who have to manage their physical, mental and emotional stress-levels during endurance events such as marathons, Iron-man competitions and high trail-running.
Some of those who have adopted Project Boa and made it part of their preparation are:
– Myriam Delas, France, Double Triathlon runner (https://triathlonforfun.com).
– Vincent Ventenat, France, runner in the Grand Raid (Trek), Mont Blanc High-Trail runner.
– Pascal Bourquin, Switzerland, Trail-runner in the Petite Trotte à Léon (135h of running over 300 km) (www.bourquin.info).
– Julien Privet, Suisse, Captain of HC Ajoie, the Swiss hockey club.
– Sabrina Verratti, Switzerland, Badminton player from Yverdon.
As a result, the Décathlon Company in France has commissioned Olivia Boa to develop a Zen space inside its headquarters in Lille. 25 Project Boa headphone sets will be available to all company employees in a chill out area. La Mobilière in Switzerland have also approached the artist to design the same type of space in Berne.
The Boa Creations Collection
Alongside her research undertaken in neurology on the effects of the headphones, Olivia is also undertaking research into Boan Ocular Kinetics – or the art of influencing brainwaves by colored structures, represented by pixels. Having developed the equation for ocular kinetics, Olivia Boa sets it down on paper. Everything is drawn by hand for an authentic, rather than digital, touch. Olivia then personally supervises the design and the production of each model. Equally, she personally oversees their analysis by EEG.
Learn more about Project Boa here:
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