Student Fine Arts thesis exhibition examines life with chronic pain

April 26, 2022

A veil is draped across a bed
the burden is heavy, unsoiled is the veil, 2021 wrought iron bed, wire, plaster, coffee, fabric, thread

Nicole Brasseur’s Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis exhibition is encouraging others to consider disabilities beyond those they can see.

An artist from southwestern Manitoba, Brasseur is a student in the IshKaabatens Waasa Gaa Inaabateg Department of Visual Art, centring her practice around mixed media sculpture and installations. Brasseur has been showing her exhibition, a chronic invisibilty, for the past week at the Glen P. Sutherland Gallery of Art. The exhibition focuses on her experiences with chronic pain.

The project description says that it “conveys the physical and psychological disease that accompanies this invisible disability. For chronic pain sufferers, the need to articulate suffering is not solely restricted to medical intervention, but rather an urgency to communicate in a way that makes one feel seen and validated. By creating artwork that unveils these experiences, she hopes to make space for those in the disability community that struggle to feel visible.”

Brasseur has taken several steps to ensure accessibility of her exhibition, including:

  • Using a sans serif font has been for all written information.
  • Wearing a window mask for the opening and all viewings.
  • Making braille available for the title wall, statement, and artwork labels.
  • Displaying QR codes on the title wall and thesis statement. When scanned, there an audio option for each.
  • Using QR codes next to each artwork to provide auditory identifications of the work.
  • Offering guided tours and ‘touch tours’ will be made available to individuals who are blind or have low vision.

The Glen P. Sutherland Gallery of Art is located at 2021 Victoriva Ave., in Brandon, on Treaty 2 Territory. More information about the Glen P. Sutherland Gallery and images of a chronic invisibility can be seen at The Sutherland.ca.