2021 Grad Show

Charlotte Poulsom

AUArts Grad Show IMG_0772



I have been living with Type 1 diabetes since age nine and through my practice, am investigating the ways in which the condition has affected my body both mentally and physically. I am interested in the intersections between the life-sustaining therapies used to manage diabetes, and the damaging effects they have on the body. Based on my fourteen-year experience with the condition, my work aims to portray the accumulative and enduring effects of chronic illness management. I do not aim to dramatize or victimize life with such an illness, rather I hope to call attention to how it has shaped my relationship with my body, and what life might look like through the lens of chronic illness, presently onto the future.
Focusing on these ideas, the visual language and processes I am exploring manifest as translations of the actions and treatments that have become ingrained into my daily routine. As my illness requires vigilant engagement with the inner workings of my body, I focus on forms with corporeal qualities to create visceral experiences which mimic those that I have with my body daily. I investigate these issues through repeated mark-making on the surface, using colour to evoke a sense of the body and of blood, and piercing and distorting the surface, transgressing the boundaries between “skin” and “body.” The two hot and cold states in which glass exists allow me to capture and emphasize the effects that a condition like Type 1 diabetes has on an individual, making visible what is not always obvious.
Expanding into multi-media and performance, my current work explores the incorporation of my body into the work through video, sound, and personal domestic and medical items alongside the glass. Keeping in mind the physical qualities of the glass medium and the human body, I continue to explore the parallels and juxtapositions that exist in the space where they come together to highlight their simultaneous strength and fragility.

I Can't Seem to Look Away

I Can’t Seem to Look Away was built around body image pertaining to chronic illness. Centered on a piece of kiln-formed glass, the documentation introduces my body as an integral element, bringing forward questions of perception, reality, intimacy, and vulnerability. Installed physically in a space, the work allows for audience interaction with the intention of increasing bodily awareness and consideration of their position in relation to my experiences.

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Using kiln-formed glass shaped to fit my body directly, this work explores the effects of long term chronic illness treatment in a true-to-life format.


Continuing piece that involves the collection of medical supplies used by the artist. These needles, blood testing strips and other associated materials are organized into jars which are then dated with the time of their use.

Second Skin

Blown Glass armpiece featured in "Sixty-six Years" installation work. Blown to fit the area of the arm most commonly used for insulin injections.

Sixty-Six Years

Based off of the average life expectancy of women with Type 1 Diabetes, this piece looks at the pervasiveness of chronic illness into everyday domestic life, thoughts and identity of those affected.

Soft Spots Series

Created from engraved, blown glass, each piece aims to emphasize the damaging and cumulative effects of repeated injections and pokes. With a skin like texture, each form is rounded and soft to resemble the affected areas of the body.


Based around the insulin injections and blood sugar numbers that are essential in the daily management of Type 1 Diabetes, the piece highlights the frequency of which such gestures are performed, and the impact of their accumulation.

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