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Emily Byrne

Painting by MA Fine Art student Emily Byrne of a girl in red paint

Exploring the theme of invisible illnesses, I wanted to raise awareness of what it’s like to live with a condition that falls into this category. My work focuses on my own condition, Hyper I.g.E. Syndrome and the art I make is autobiographical, depicting memorable experiences of this involving surgical drainages of abscesses which I censor or ‘sugar coat’ by replacing what would be blood and pus, with sweets. Why use sweets? From childhood, I have had an affinity for them. After making observations throughout the years, it soon became apparent that the growth of abscesses was comparable to sweets, in terms of their size, texture and density.

I began initially working in watercolour, but it felt that the works were not making as much of an impact as I would have liked. Experimentation and looking at ways to depict these medical events eventually led my research and practice into the unexplored territory of animation. After all, what better way to relive a past experience? To start off this venture, I began using Flipnote Studio 3D to create quick animations to gain a better understanding of how it all works. After getting a grasp on the basics, I moved onto pencil drawn animation to begin the compilation of past events.

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Lizzie Starling

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