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Eleanor Buffam


Me, ME, 2021

Oil on Canvas



I am a painter and musician, interested in exploring ideas of community, interdependence, and interconnectivity, especially regarding humanity’s place with one another and with our environment. I see art as an important way of developing empathy and tolerance by exploring diverse viewpoints and creatively exploring possibilities. This painting is the first in my portrait series, Invisible Disabilities, and is a self-portrait. I fell ill and was diagnosed with a chronic illness called ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) in 2019, which affects my life to a great degree as it severely limits what I can do. The most debilitating symptom is fatigue, from which I suffer from most of the time, in varying degrees. I also get PEM or Post Exertional Malaise, which is a worsening of all symptoms after any kind of physical, mental, or emotional stress. I usually feel as though I have jet-lag and the flu all rolled into one.

Alt Text:  A woman is sitting in front of a piano, looking at the viewer. There’s sheet music on the piano. In her right hand she holds a paintbrush. Her
left hand is on her knee; there are two small tattoos on her left hand. On the red wall behind the woman is a painting of a couple in a baroque gold frame. There is a window to the left of the woman. There is a cat in front of the window who is staring at the viewer. Through the window can be seen two conical towers. The sky is very colourful.

About Eleanor Buffam

I was born in Falkirk and grew up in Philadelphia. I have a BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, having studied in Philadelphia and Rome from 1996-2002. I studied at West Dean College in West Sussex, UK, from 2010-2012, graduating with an MFA in Painting and Drawing. I have exhibited internationally, and my work is held in private collections in the US, UK and Europe. I live and work in Edinburgh.

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