By Sally Mayne
Sally Mayne is a Print Media major at the Alberta College of Art & Design. Her current practice focuses on the exploration of understanding personal identity in relation to one’s search for belonging through ancestry, communal landscape and memory. Her work takes shape through an array of mediums, including printmaking, film, audio, installation, and photography. Within this search, her work focuses on both the duality and dichotomy between the past and present, the individual and the shared, and how we choose to navigate those qualities within ourselves.
Using the artist’s words, summarize the artwork and how they feel it reflects the patient’s moment of meaning
In moments where a disease compromises feelings of comfort and stability, the words “I will manage whatever happens”, arise. This image reflects the person’s ability to ground herself by way of finding inner strength through this focused mantra of self-empowerment. The image’s glowing circle and tree-like form symbolize the core of the person’s being; a light that surpasses ailment and reminds her of her complexities and what she is capable of. The wrapping, tumbling texture of the tree speaks to a gathering of love for ones self, despite the identity that the disease may try to claim over her.
Using the artist’s words, describe how they felt about this experience
This endeavor offered a window into seeing how an individual finds ways to see past an illness, and discover their self- empowerment when things become challenging. Working closely with someone who has a unique experience and way of coping with a chronic disease shed light into the ways in which art, community and health can be brought together. This bond created within this project inspired me to continue fortifying this concept and seek out further opportunities to work within such subject matter. This was a truly rewarding experience and I am overjoyed to have been a part of it.
From Jennifer, living with Crohn’s disease
Living with a chronic disease is not without adversity. It can be very overwhelming and present challenges that without the support of friends and family would seem insurmountable. That said the stronger relationships and endless show of support that accompanied the disease was remarkable. My friends and family have helped me to deal with the uncertainty the disease brings and to keep living my life to its fullest, overcoming the anxiety that invariably comes with disease, and knowing that I’ll manage whatever happens.
‘Perspectives – Art, Inflammation and Me’ is an initiative that brings together more than 200 artists with patients in more than 40 countries. Together, they have created a series of paintings, sculptures, photos and other artistic expressions that vividly depict — and help others understand — the impact of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). Inspired by patients’ stories, independent artists and students from a number of art universities created each piece to help more people better understand the burdens associated with some of these chronic and debilitating conditions. In addition to independent artists from all parts of the world, students from more than 15 universities coordinated by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Universitat Politecnica de Valencia) were able to add their “Perspectives.”
Select a thumbnail to see a Canadian image and story.
More than 100 unique artistic expressions from ‘Perspectives – Art, Inflammation and Me’ debuted at the 9th Congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) in Copenhagen, Denmark February 20, 2014, generously supported by AbbVie.