By Lizzie Carr
Lizzie Carr is an internationally exhibited painter, independent curator, and published writer, studying at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Carr is in her final year of study at the college as a Painting Major. Carr is originally from London, England, United Kingdom, and currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Using the artist’s words, summarize the artwork and how they feel it reflects the patient’s moment of meaning
My initial idea going into this project was to create a very large, very detailed, and very emotional portrait of the person paired with me. However, the expression I was looking to depict involved sadness, defeat and solitude. After meeting with her, it was impossible for me to do this, because this amazing woman was anything but; she was nothing but strength. With this charcoal drawing I hope to portray the true essence of this inspiring woman I met. Though she has struggled in life, she has come out the other side strong, proud and all the more experienced for going through what she has. When posing for the photographic reference, I asked her to recall the moment she decided not to give up and to keep moving forward, despite everything that had happened. The resulting expression is what is drawn in this piece.
Using the artist’s words, describe how they felt about this experience
Content in my idea of drawing someone saddened by their life experiences, I met with her not expecting to leave the way I did. She was outgoing and bubbly, and not afraid to share with me her experiences and to get very deep into her darkest moments. Inspired by her is a real understatement. Drawing her has been a thrill. This entire experience has connected me with a world I had never been exposed to, but it is a world of courage and fortitude that I could never have imagined. The resilient spirit I was confronted with is something that I will always remember. No matter how hard things can get, I can always get through them. There’s always a new tomorrow.
From Cecily, living with Psoriasis
From the time I was 11, psoriasis ruled my life. Growing up with it was hard; it affected my self-esteem and my ability to feel confident amongst my peers. I stopped seeking care as an adult, assuming that nothing would work. My life turned around after I was hospitalized with the disease, which took a turn for the worst. At this point in 2006, I was finally referred to a proper dermatologist from the hospital. It took until 2010 to find the care that worked, but my life turned around 180 degrees. I’ve lost 65 pounds, found a great job, gone back to university and am excelling at my studies. The past 3 years have been like a whole new world for me. I am grateful for the care that works.
‘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.