Crevice Communities Exhibition 2021

Sandra Stewart
Revealing hidden crevices 2021
Mixed Media Collage.
Includes Paint, drawing pins and waste from items needed to manage Type 1 diabetes on recycled polystyrene foam supported by cardboard. Size: 59cm x 30cm

Crevice communities are not easy to observe. They thrive in hidden spaces and harsh conditions. Type 1 diabetes (T1) is a hidden chronic condition. It is for life. There is no cure. Control, self-management, and routine are terms used by professionals without a T1 lived experience. Complications including blindness and kidney failure act as a dark shadow sitting insidiously behind you, silently creeping. To live with T1 means as many as six finger pricks each day to measure sugar levels. Insulin injections are self-administered five times daily. The lived experience cannot be fully expressed in the numbers for a ‘normal range’. Each person living with T1 has a unique experience and despite following a strict routine blood sugar levels may fluctuate.

Single use products are essential to enable an individual with T1 to survive. Test strips, needles, empty insulin vials and packaging become waste. Individually they are small and inconspicuous but over a lifetime this bricolage leaves a large environmental footprint and contributes to landfill. 
This work attempts to reveal the lived experience of T1 using essential items that become waste in the environment. It includes a separate but companion journal of reflections and progress as the work was created. The art and the journal entries standalone as unique artefacts. They also integrate to bring a lived experience out of its hidden crevice. The journal explores personal feelings about T1 as well as a commentary on my progress and learning during this process. Hyperlink to Portfolio:

Disclaimer: All products used are wasted, any sharps have been removed. Full vials are out of date. When insulin type is changed by doctor open packets cannot be returned.

Sandra Stewart is beginning her creative visual journey through experimenting with different techniques, styles, and materials. She is a life-long learner who is more familiar with writing to express and create. Sandra’s current fascination is with the possibilities that could emerge from using Mixed Media and random recycled ‘found’ materials.

Provenance: Peer reviewed submission

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