Artist story: Lenae Silva

Published 04 October 2021 in Artist Stories

Lenae Silva

Please can you tell me more about how the overdose crisis affected you directly?

Being an outreach worker and  a drug user in a small town is like having a bullseye on your back. It's tedious and exhausting. I advocate for change and try to keep spirits up, but sometimes it feels like a farce. I work in all these industries and I can't get the help I need. But then I see small and large changes happening around the Country. Like Peers suing the government or new medical treatment. It gives me hope and keeps me going. I'm also part indigenous - Squamish. I love Canada. I love British Columbia. This country is in my blood. I know we can do better than this. 

What role does art play for you in terms of your experience with this crisis?

I haven't been able to paint since I started doing the outreach. I just don't have it in me right now. It's been almost 2 years since I picked up a paint brush. My emotions are so tied to my art that I feel I'll just open the floodgates.

How do you feel about sharing your art among the works of others affected by this crisis?

I hope people look past the drug use. I hope people can see the talent so many of us share. We haven't fallen we have stumbled. And I hope if somebody is hiding in the shadows talk to somebody about your addiction. If you've been impacted by drug use. You are loved. You all deserve all the happiness in the world. And if you think you've never met a drug user, you're 100% wrong. You'd be surprised the secrets we hold.

What does participating in this art show mean to you? What to you hope comes from this project?

Just an honour to share art amongst friends.

Link to artist bio and works