O sculptor Canadian Gillian Genser was diagnosed with poisoning heavy metals to use mussels to create one of his works. Since 1991, Gillian has begun to sculpt using natural materials such as eggshells, bones, corals or dried plants.
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The work that nearly led to the death of the 59-year-old artist was about the first man, Adam, with whom he wanted to express an environmental message, where she wanted to show the first manifestation of the ecosystem, as well as the perception of dominance over animals. To get it, he bought mussels, cooked them for his friends and stored the shells to sand them for about 12 hours a day to form Adam's body.
Months after starting work, the symptoms of poisoning began to manifest: "I was agitated all the time. He had constant headaches and vomited frequently," Gillian said in a paper in the paper. Toronto Life. The artist went to several doctors to find out what had happened to her. For 15 years he had to live with the symptoms, enduring pain in the hands, but that did not stop him from grinding shells of mussels.
It all got worse, says the Canadian sculptor in 2013, when he decided to clean the ventilation system of his house and extract a lot of fine dust from the grated mussel shell he had accumulated for years. Almost immediately he fell into bed: my audience did not come back after that, and my short-term memory got much worse. I developed spatial disorientation, confusing me with low, well with the left. I could not recognize the people I've met most of my life, "Gillian said in her statement.
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It took a few more years for Genser to consider the shells of the mussels to poison her. He says that in 2015 he visited the Royal Ontario Museum, where he talked to a curator of the invertebrate site. In his talk, he mentioned that "the bombs accumulate toxins around them." This conversation saved her life because from then on she was treated and diagnosed with severe arsenic and lead poisoning, which indicated that the water where the mussels she was using was contaminated with these elements,
The damage done by these substances is irreversible, so Gillian now lives with neurological and metabolic problems. Even so, the artist finished her Adam that same 2015. Her quality of life is very precarious.
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