Air on the Side of Caution by Marie LeBlanc
June 15 - July 31
“Air on the Side of Caution” examines both my experiences with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS) and air pollution. As a person with MCS I experience a life of fight or flight in a world of chemicals and pollution. Cautiously choosing a safe environment I often find it is hard to find a place that is free from toxins. I am living with an inconvenient disability in a modern world.
There is so much air pollution from airplane and car emissions, scents and large buildings and factories in major cities that I am often not able to be in or around these cities without adverse reactions. This means that I am often isolated and homeless as most built environments cause me to be ill. With the Covid-19 pandemic social distancing and isolation has now become common practice. For me, I have lived a life of social distancing and isolation as a result of my illness. My images reflect this isolation which more people than ever will be able to connect with as we all try to isolate to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Those living with MCS live a lifetime of isolation.
The first presentation of “Air on the Side of Caution” will occur in May 2020 which is Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Month. I purposely decide to begin exhibiting in May to coincide with this event. This exhibition is important because environmental illnesses such as MCS is still an unrecognized controversial diagnosis. As a result, those who live with MCS are often passed along from doctor to doctor unable to figure out what ails them.
I chose these pieces of work to represent some of my journey and the journey of many others. Photography and digitally enhancing and layering the images represent my life. My life is full of complicated layers. It is difficult to show the many layers. When I layer images in my art, I am attempting communicating how I see things from so many different perspectives on how I experience and see the world. I am encouraging people to see everyday objects and situations from multiple perspectives/layers they may not have otherwise considered.
See the full show online at www.aanm.ca/air-on-the-side-of-caution/