International Artists With Epilepsy
Approximately 50 million people currently live with epilepsy worldwide. This Project gathers talented artists with epilepsy from around the world to exhibit their work. Yet many artists do not know how to find an audience, and cannot afford to travel internationally, or fear leaving a safe environment to find a location for their art. We want to change that!
People with epilepsy tend to keep that side of themselves hidden, as the stigma around seizures is still very real! Although the social effects vary from country to country, the discrimination and prejudice that surrounds epilepsy worldwide are often more difficult to overcome than the seizures themselves. People living with epilepsy can be targets of anger, derision and fear. The stigma can discourage people from seeking treatment for symptoms to avoid becoming identified with the disorder. And if they are artists, they don’t even need a disorder, chances are they will already have an introverted personality and only identify with fellow creative artists.
This has been my personal experience. It is a combination which is responsible for many depressed artists.
I will work as producer, curator and photographer for five artists who will represent their cultures from all over the world during twelve a month period. The Project will begin in the U.S. to first research and then contact each artist. This will be followed by traveling to each artist’s home, documenting the workplace, family and local attitudes on art and epilepsy with interviews and photographs. The focus will be on their artistic work and story, showing how the dream and passion they have in life has helped each individual forward as an artist who has integrated epilepsy into both work and life.
Epilepsy is the common factor with all these artists, though I feel certain it is the art which they will find more inspiring to talk about. I know I do, and I have been an ambassador for artists with epilepsy at many events without even knowing it. My goal here is to be that ambassador with advance planning so I can listen informatively to artists, their families, and epilepsy foundations in other cultures. Most importantly, I will bring the five artists together to be represented in a major exhibit of their most prized work.
This presentation of individual artists will be an inspiration to others. The final series of photos and stories will become permanent as a book illustrating their work and life and exhibited along with various key creations from each artist. This will promise more international awareness for epilepsy through events for artists worldwide.
It will also provide a first for many other artists to communicate & collaborate with fellow creative people from other societies in person. Proving again that phases like,
“believe in yourself” and “take a chance” can really mean something if someone is willing to reach across the world and give you hand.
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