the sculptress Canadian Gillian Genser he was diagnosed with poisoning from heavy metals to use musselss to create one of his works. Since 1991, Gillian has started sculpting using natural materials such as egg shells, bones, corals or dried plants.
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The work that almost led to the death of the 59-year-old artist was the first man, Adam, with whom he wanted to express an environmental message in which he wanted to show the first manifestation of the ecosystem, beyond the perception of the dominion over the animals To make it happen, he bought the mussels, cooked them for his friends and stored them for about 12 hours a day and thus formed Adam's body.
Months after the start of the work, the symptoms of the poisoning began to manifest themselves: "I was agitated all the time." He had constant headaches and often vomited, "Gillian said in a text published in the newspaper. Toronto life. The artist went to different doctors to find out what had happened to her. For 15 years he had to live with the symptoms, enduring the pain in his hands, but this did not stop him from grinding shells of mussels.
Everything has worsened, says the Canadian sculptor, in 2013, when he decided to clean the ventilation system of his house and extract a lot of fine powder from the grated mussel that had accumulated for years. Almost immediately he fell into bed: my audience never came back and my short-term memory worsened considerably. I developed a spatial disorientation, confusing myself with the bass, on the right with the left. I could not recognize the people I knew for most of my life, "Gillian said in his testimonial text.
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It took another couple of years for Genser to think that the shells of mussels could poison it. He recounts that in 2015 he visited the Royal Museum of Ontario, where he spoke with a curator in the invertebrate enclosure. In his speech he said that "the shells accumulate toxins around them". That speech saved her life, because from then on she was cured and diagnosed with severe poisoning with arsenic and lead, which indicated that the water in which the mussels she used was contaminated by those elements,
The damage caused by these substances is irreversible, so Gillian now lives with neurological and metabolic problems. Even so, the artist finished his Adam the same 2015. His quality of life is very precarious.
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