Art communicates faster and more completely than any other realm of human endeavor. It has the ability to prompt the recognition of truths you were not completely aware of. That’s certainly what the 2015 ME Artists Showcase at M.E. Again did for me.
Created by Gwen Duda, a professional Canadian artist diagnosed with both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia at the age of 35, M.E. Again is dedicated to displaying the artwork, stories and experiences of people with ME/CFS and FM.
Gwen notes that illness perspectives are rarely seen in the mainstream art world (besides Frieda Kahlo who?), but the artistic expression of illness with its pain, grittiness, hope and despair is on full display on her site.
In the 2015 Showcase Gwen featured the works of 15 ME/CFS/FM artists. Interviews with each artist tell their personal ME/CFS/FM stories and unlock the experiences driving their art. Their stories of loss and their struggles to accept their limits of their new world will be familiar to all. Many use art – when they have the energy to create it – as a place of refuge.
Check out a few selections from the Showcase below..
For as long as I can remember, art has been pulsating through my core. I now wait tirelessly for moments throughout the days where I am well enough to make art. I paint in drips of time — five minutes, sometimes twenty — an hour feels like a gift… I hope to spotlight CFS/ME, Lyme disease, MSIDS and other invisible illnesses and grow awareness, bringing forth a universal understanding and compassion for those affected. Erin Fromkes
Art feeds my soul, keeps me sane, and provides me with a life purpose and incentive to get out of bed each day. Due to my chronic hair to toes pain, crippling fatigue, soul sucking depression and the impact all this has on my ability to think clearly, I have had to develop a very fluid way of being artistic. Heather Clark
After I had my second baby, I was never the same… I was dizzy, sleep deprived, fatigued and in pain almost everyday but I kept going, juggling career and motherhood. Then in the first quarter of 2013 my symptoms increased and worsened. After undergoing about eighteen tests/procedures and seeing five different specialists I was finally diagnosed in May of 2014 with Fibromyalgia at the age of forty. Nathalie Lopez
You can find M.E. Again and the 2015 Artist Showcase here. I hope you will visit M.E. Again. I hope each person that does so finds art that resonates with and opens up their own experiences with illness and health.
Submissions for the next Showcase will probably begin in September. M.E. Again hopes to expand to include more types of art next year.
Health Rising’s ME/CFS and FM Artist Section
Health Rising now has an ME/CFS and FM artist section that provides you the opportunity download your ME/CFS/FM artwork there. Lissa Nilsson – one of the 15 artists highlighted in the Showcase – is the first artist to feature her work there.
Art took a backseat for decades – there was never time or energy left with my career, which required extensive travel. Now that I am ill, art has given me purpose again. Although my energy is limited, I feel as if the creative process removes me from my illness for a blissful respite on the days I can make it out to my studio.
If you’re an artist with ME/CFS/FM please consider adding examples of your work in our Artists section.