Lead Exposure

Gretchen Pruett's avatar Gretchen Pruett

“Lead Exposure,” shows the trauma that lead poisoning does to the body. It is inspired by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, my hometown. This series features five watercolor paintings that represent calcified bone, corrupted blood, injured brain, degenerated nerve, and empty womb that resulted from lead exposure. I use a unique backlit framing technique to illuminate the pathological effects of such contamination. My work simulates real medical imaging –X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, and microscope slides- in order to document the empirically observed and undeniable degenerative change brought about by exposure to lead. This technique develops an aesthetic of the internal body to inspire interest in the very real mutations that lead exposure causes. By confronting the devastation done to bone, blood, brain, nerve, and womb, I hope to reveal the stakes involved in this continuing crisis and appeal for interventions that prompt healing and recovery.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 4 inches
  • Medium: Watercolor, Ink, Pencil on Yupo Paper
  • Width: 14 feet
  • Year created: 2016
  • Height: 3 feet