Epilepsy Awareness Month Artwork

March 29, 2023
photos of the art installation members of our community painted for Epilepsy Awareness Month. The first 2 panels have a tree where the meet with cocoons. The third and fourth panels are filled with purple butterflies.

In early 2023, Epilepsy Ottawa asked graffiti artist Mique Michelle to work with members of our community in creating an art piece about living with epilepsy. Mique held consultations with the community to come up with a concept, then she and members of the epilepsy community created this beautiful artwork at our 2023 Purple Day Celebration. It’s on display at City Hall throughout the rest of Epilepsy Awareness Month.

Below you will find the artist’s statement. We will soon add statements from those affected by epilepsy who participated in the consultations and painted the artwork.

What a privilege!

To be invited to participate, listen and create with Epilepsy Ottawa and its participants.

My intentions and goals quickly changed once I met, consulted with the participant, hearing how they are affected by epilepsy. Realizing quickly, I know nothing about epilepsy, embarrassed about how wrong I was, I asked myself, “Is this my place, should it be me here?”. With training and help form Epilepsy Ottawa, and discussions with very generous people, I concluded it was.

As it shouldn’t always be those affected, discriminated and unable to be supported as they should creating safe places. Always correcting those who discriminate.

With these panels, I hope we are able to see what those conversations if done right can bring. The first panel with the lonely butterfly cocoon shows what happens when we don’t offer help, when we don’t listen. We isolate members of our community. The following panels show the evolution of inclusion. What it looks like when we listen, step back and adapt. When we listen to those affected and create equitable solutions. When we realise what is offered is not correct or enough. That we need to make sure those affected our included in the conversation. But we should be doing the leg work to make sure everyone is safe. Safe at work, at school in the community.

This collaboration is about , but about two main objectives.
1. Creating awareness about the stigmas that surround epilepsy and getting the proper training.

2. Making sure the participants are seen as humans first.
Having a moment of unity, while creating space for community and healing. In the form of celebrating 2 years without seizures for one, just being together and having fun.

I leave you with this question; does your workspace, school or home know what to do if someone has a seizure? During and after.


Mique Michelle
-Artist- (She/Her/Elle)