Monday, March 8, 2010

Lyme Disease: Art & Awareness

My sister, Nina's statement about her work - which has been quoted in several local publications describing the opening of the show Group of Four - explains the origins of her brightly colored, soft, fabric sculptures, pictured below.

About her latest body of work, Nina Devenney, the youngest of the "four," said that after being diagnosed with Lyme disease at the start of 2009, she experienced a slow healing process for the duration of the year that led her to thoughts concerning health and the mysterious connections that link the human body to the external natural world that we inhabit and call home.

"I began to think of my body as a habitat, a home all on its own. I found it ironic and beautiful that the internal place I live is filled with elegance that mimics my external environment. I realized the composition of my very self is a sheer reflection of the beauty I see outside," she said.

Nina’s work is visually curious, fun, and playful. Ironically, this work was a fusion of experiences caused by illness and ailments of Lyme disease. Below is her artist's statement.

Artist Statement • Habitat

This body of work is a reflection and a positive distortion of a recent experience of illness and desperation. Diagnosed with Lyme disease at the start of 2009, I experienced a slow healing process for the duration of the year that lead me to thoughts concerning health and the mysterious connections that link the human body to the external natural world that we inhabit and call home. Throughout my illness, I began to think of my body as a habitat, a home all on its own. I found it ironic and beautiful that the internal place I live is filled with elegance that mimics my external environment. I realized the composition of my very self is a sheer reflection of the beauty I see outside.

This piece is the result of a desire to create a habitat for humans to exist in: a world that is comprised of forms inspired by organs, nerves and skeletal structures residing inside us and our fellow species, along with forms that make up our external natural home, such as eroded rock, prehistoric fossils, seaweed and driftwood.

Through these soft sculptures, I aim to blur the lines of physical places, making it seem that our bodies are our habitat, as much as the earth is. My intention is for the installation to feel exciting, beautiful and safe. After my tiresome, painful, and threatening experience with Lyme disease, that often left me feeling unsafe within my own body, I wanted to create an environment relating to the body that feels secure and protected. By using soft fabric, fiberfill and warm, inviting colors, I hope to activate this effect and make viewers feel intrigued, safe and happy while they explore this colorful and abstract network.

Lyme disease is a rapidly growing health epidemic. The condition is a serious and frustrating health concern for those who are afflicted.

Below you will find helpful & informative links regarding symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Lyme Disease.

Help prevent tick bites by using Permethrin, manufactured by Sawyer Company. It is an insecticide spray for clothing (it is toxic to pets, birds and fish through contact and ingestion so read instructions carefully). Permethrin products are available from such retailers as Chinook Medical, Cabelas, REI and Amazon.com. Ultrathon repellant, a 12 hour time-release DEET lotion, is also available at Chinook Medical. For safe and effective tick removal, try the Tick Key available at pet stores, hardware stores and outdoor retailers. Check your pets and yourself regularly!


Watch the trailer for the film, Under Our Skin which explores the hidden tales of Lyme.
Igenex Lab, a Reference Lab specializing Clinical and Research Testing for Lyme & Tick-borne Diseases

No comments: