Artist showcase

Outsiders

by Christina Baltais

As a chronic illness advocate, Christina uses her artwork to share her experiences, and to shine a light on the often-hidden struggles of her community. In ‘Outsiders’, she tackles a big one.

“This collage is about how the dropping of mask mandates has alienated immunocompromised and disabled people from the rest of the world,” Christina says, “as well as their partners trying to protect them.” Already often housebound due to ME/CFS, the hazards of unchecked viral spread have only made her world smaller. “For the past three years we’ve had to use extreme caution when interacting with others. It’s added an extra layer of isolation to the already very isolating experience of living with ME.

“We shield* to protect the shred of health that I have – and to protect the health he has and needs, in order to care for us.” 

*Shielding: a state of medically-advisable lockdown for high-risk people (e.g. not leaving their homes, minimizing face-to-face contact), necessitated by uncontrolled levels of community transmission.

Christina Baltais

Christina Baltais (she/her) is an artist who resides in Toronto, Canada. She has lived with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME, also known as ME/CFS) for the past 18 years and draws on her personal experience of chronic illness to create collage, photography, sculpture, and makeup art. She is also involved in organizing fundraising and advocacy initiatives, such as the annual ME/CFS Art Auction, and the May 12th #GoBlueForMECFS campaign. ME is a deeply stigmatized and contested illness, and she hopes her work is one ripple in the wave of change the ME community desperately needs for greater awareness, compassion, research funding, and treatments.

Did you know? You can enter to win a prize pack with artwork by Christina Baltais (Words As Medicine) in our Benefit + Awareness Month prize draw until June 1, 2023!

Surreal collage of the backs of two people sitting in green and yellow lawn chairs. They are seated on the moons surface, looking at planet Earth that is miles and miles away.
Image description: Surreal collage of the backs of two people sitting in green and yellow lawn chairs. They are seated on the moon’s surface, looking at planet Earth, which is miles and miles away.

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