By Zakhari Halas
Zak Halas an Illustrator and Designer studying at the Alberta College of Art and Design. His practice mainly focusses on comics, illustrated books, and other forms of narrative art. Film and film theory influence much of his work, drawing upon his four years of experience in the Film Studies program at Concordia University in Montreal. He is currently in the process of writing and drawing his own graphic novel, and is spending his time at school experimenting with a variety of media and styles.
Using the artist’s words, summarize the artwork and how they feel it reflects the patient’s moment of meaning
For this piece I wanted to explore the emotional effects that inflammatory diseases had on my conversation partner. Our interview revealed that it was during his childhood that he felt the most impact from these maladies, and I felt that this would be an excellent focal point for the project. I was particularly drawn to the invasive nature that his initial care had. There was a sense of claustrophobia, and a desire for normalcy in his described experiences. I wanted to show that these diseases presented an overwhelming unknown presence to a child. A looming, ever-present force in their life.
Using the artist’s words, describe how they felt about this experience
My overall experience for this project was very positive. I felt that I connected very easily with my conversation partner, and that we were able to explore his personal story in a casual and informal manner. We were able to speak freely about how inflammatory diseases have impacted him throughout his life. The conversation, and my additional research, were very informative, and allowed me to gain a glimpse into living with an inflammatory disease. This method of raising awareness provided me with a very enriching experience, and I believe the final product will do the same for others.
From Travis’ mom; Travis lives with Crohn’s disease; his mom (Sheila) lives with Ulcerative Colitis
I believe this was an amazing project. Thank you so much for putting this together- hope to see more like this in the future. Highlight: In being able to share our story, I realized what the journey was all about. How far we had come and that despite all the challenges…. we still want to fight.
‘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.