ROT is conceived and edited by Julia Cavicchi. But it was her work on a sculpture that recreated Adam, from Jewish folklore, that caused her to fall ill. Her body’s constructed of lamb skulls, with lambs’ teeth around the lungs. He propels us onwards and inwards through his visceral deconstruction, as we make a subliminal descent to our primordial base, revealing our destiny, inextricably bound to all life on the planet. Other. “They beautifully replicated the striations in his muscle fibres,” she told Toronto Life. It roars like the ocean but at a terrible pitch. She would buy the mussels by the bagful from shops in Toronto's Chinatown, spending hours carefully picking out ones with the perfect shapes and patterns. He had attended yeshiva but could not finish as a result of his sudden departure,” she said. “The [Biblical] words that man has dominion over the animals - that was a destructive view. She often spent 12 hours at a time in her studio, breathing in the mussel dust. Please check back OR click on the envelope icon on the left menu under "share/subscribe to this tribute" to receive automatic updates regarding this tribute. I wanted art to recreate that feeling, and connect us to our love of the planet, but doubly so.” Her art career was born. Log In. Current city. Lead, arsenic, cadmium, manganese… The injury was extensive. "I'm spiralling down these days, to tell you the truth," she said. My muscles ached. “I have no tools to hang onto hope,” she said. ~ Genesis 1:28 (New International Version). And even my despair is not to be trusted, tainted by the poison of my damaged mental health. Edmonton, Alberta. It would coat the piece. The impact on my already poor medical condition was severe. Toronto artist Gillian Genser has created many stunning sculptures over the years. The symptoms continued for 15 years, then worsened significantly in 2013. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. She was the wife of Dr. John Edward Freeman of Netherbury, Dorset. She currently resides in Toronto, where she has been a working artist for nearly 30 years. With heavy hearts, we announce the death of Lettie Gillilan (Attalla, Alabama), who passed away on October 18, 2020 at the age of 82. The molluscs can act like ocean filters, and over time, they accumulate toxins from their surroundings. Welcome to our inaugural artist-in-residence: artist, farmer & performer Rosa Farber. Representations of our elemental structures revealed themselves everywhere, mirrored, in whole or in part, in cast off remains – the shells and bones that I was collecting. Why? Knowing that something was wrong with her, Gillian saw several experts, including neurologists, rheumatologists, and endocrinologists, in an effort to get to the bottom of her mysterious illness. “After a few hours of grinding mussel shells, I would become immobilized. And even though I would try to sort of dust off in the venting system, when I would pull my hands out, I was loaded in the dust," she said. They pump several liters of water per hour and concentrate chemicals in their tissues. “I feel terrible grief for them," she says. Current City and Hometown. "I spent up to 12 hours a day grinding and sanding the shells to fit into the shape of Adam’s body," she writes. But when I close my eyes, I am combing an exposed seabed, with its inhabitants gasping to breathe. Victoria, British Columbia . “But worse is that we’re destroying our world. Mussels may be natural, but ocean pollution isn't. This is a desperate moment for our planet, for art, for all of it. Online art gallery of Toronto artist Gillian Genser. The symptoms, which plague Genser unrelentingly, include “hearing problems, cognitive difficulties, nerve damage, and metabolic issues - I can’t eat without problems. Spending up to 12 hours a day, Gillian would grind and sand the mussel shells to make them fit into her sculpture. As I searched the natural world for the materials for his construction, I began to explore the evolutionary relationship of our anatomy to the primordial ocean. Genser’s story sparked a worldwide media frenzy after she shared it with the monthly Toronto Life in December (“Sculptor Unknowingly Poisons Herself with Her Own Art”, screamed one headline). "I am doing very poorly and I'm not really sure what light is at the end of the tunnel for me.". Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. When she got home, she'd cook them up for herself and her friends, then grind the shells down into a fine powder that she could shape to her liking. Miniscule beetle larva form her heart-within-a-heart. Heavy Love. Not that she blames the mussels. She studied fine arts at the University of Alberta, Pratt Institute and the Art Student’s League in New York City, and earned a degree in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. After a few months of this, she noticed she was becoming unwell. – By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses.