By Amy Pon
I am a third year Graphic Design student at the Alberta College of Art and Design. I am particularly interested in print design, typography and photography. For me, design is the combination of desire and creative innovation to better something — especially clarity and coherence of a message. It is always my objective to create pieces that reflect the needs of a patron or client, and to be an instrument in best expressing a message that needs to be heard.
Using the artist’s words, summarize the artwork and how they feel it reflects the patient’s moment of meaning
This piece is a reflection of the person’s experience as the mother of a child diagnosed with Crohn’s. The laundry line symbolizes the warmth and tenderness of a mother’s care. The line is set against a cold, winter landscape that becomes imperceptible as it fades to white. The landscape symbolizes the ambiguous nature of the illness, and the lack of physical control that she has over her son’s illness. In spite of this, there is a quiet strength and optimism.
Using the artist’s words, describe how they felt about this experience
The subject had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis two years ago; yet her focus, still, is caring for her son (who is now in his 20s) and his condition. She told me how hard it was to have to explain to her young son that his condition could not be cured; and how it was something he would have to learn to cope with for the rest of his life. I believe that the most impactful words that she said to me, “I wished that I had it instead of him,” epitomizes the fierce love of a mother.
From Sheila, living with Ulcerative Colitis
They say, “Life is a journey”. But we have no idea what the challenges of that journey may be. As a parent of a child with a chronic illness, these challenges can be immobilizing, make us feel powerless, and feel overwhelming fear. But as we have travelled through this journey – I look back at what we have gone through and wonder, “Where did we get the strength?” I have no idea what challenges are ahead for my child, but inside I know there is strength. And that strength gives me confidence to fight and face these challenges of our journey.
‘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.