We live in a porous world, in porous bodies. The possibility of being breached, infected and losing bodily integrity is always present. My banner, Screened For, allows viewers to engage with the invisible world of microbes that live in and around us. The one side of the banner features three photographs of women wearing respiratory masks, offering visual depictions of infectious diseases that affected Hamilton and the surrounding area from 1900 to 2014. These were Cholera, Tuberculosis and Influenza. On the other side, respiratory masks protrude in clusters and groupings. They appear to be replicating, like bacteria and viruses, readying for re-emergence with new menace. They confront us with a question: what will the next epidemic or pandemic be?
Elaine Whittaker’s trans-disciplinary work incorporates biology as part of her contemporary art practice, thus intersecting art, science and medicine. She creates installations that include sculptural, painting, digital and sound components. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Fudan University Science Gallery (Shanghai), Gwacheon National Science Museum (Seoul), Islip Art Museum (Long Island), Ontario Science Centre (Toronto), Dublin Science Gallery, Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art (Winnipeg), ARC Gallery (Chicago), Yukon Arts Centre Gallery (Whitehorse), and the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. William Myers’ featured her art in his book, BioArt: Altered Realities (2015). Her work has been well received by the media in literary, academic and medical periodicals as well as online galleries and blogs. Whittaker is represented by The Red Head Gallery in Toronto.