By Nicole Brunel and Iain Chisholm
Nicole Brunel is a third year student at the Alberta College of Art + Design. Her studies focus on sculpture and painting and how the two disciplines are related. Brunel also holds a BA (Honours) in Archaeology from the University of Calgary and has traveled many parts of the world working as an archaeologist and also as a touring musician. These diverse experiences now inform her artwork, which seeks connections between disparate ideas and aims to provoke questions that can be appreciated without answers.
Using the artist’s words, summarize the artwork and how they feel it reflects the patient’s moment of meaning
This artwork should be considered not only as a reflection of a “moment of meaning” but also the creation of one. To create this moment, the sculpture was conceived conceptually and physically through collaboration. The piece is a visual representation of how Crohn’s disease affects the body and mind. Referencing Iain’s body and identity is a black leather encasement filled with organ-like components. These organs appear to resist and create a strain on the leather body, weighing it down and escaping from it. They also support the weight of a biological form that was created in reference to a damaged part of Iain’s intestine that was removed.
Using the artist’s words, describe how they felt about this experience
As a result of this partnership, I witnessed a personal account of human strength and perseverance. Iain greatly contributes meaning to those around him through his positivity and philanthropic enthusiasm to openly share and educate others of his condition. This experience expanded my knowledge of Crohn’s disease, as well as introduced new methods into my artistic practice. Engaging in sociological research and artistic collaboration tested and increased my ability to visually communicate an idea. By exchanging knowledge and artistic expression with another person, a meaningful moment was also created in my own life.
Iain lives with Crohn’s disease
Iain is a 20-something rock climber and design enthusiast, originally from Truro, Nova Scotia but currently living in Calgary, Alberta. Iain was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at the age of 11 and as of recently lives with a permanent ileostomy.
‘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.