Cranbrook Academy of Art
Cancer has become a huge part of who I am as an artist. I am a Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor. In the past, my work has been devoted to how this disease has affected me physically and mentally. Most recently, I have been interested in the patterning of cancer field-stains found in blood specimens of not only my disease but those of friends and family who have battled cancer as well.
Cancer field-stains captivate me. Each type of cancer has a specific cell development and design structure. I transform the microscopic into tactile relief sculptures. Each piece depicts a shape quality or motif from a specific field-stain specimen, which is then used in multiples. Compositional aspects are then portrayed with the use of these individual segments or shapes and then fused together to create modules. With the use of recycled paper(s) and or fiber the fundamental elements of visual art are put to use including space, shape, texture, movement, and pattern. The end result resembles the spreading of the disease as well as the beauty of its structure.
Just as a field-stain is a record of cancer’s growth in the body, my work is a record or meditation on how cancer has affected my life. Threatening and dangerous, it has forced me to see beauty, life, and art in a new and powerful way. It has transformed my creative energies and relationship to the natural world. As these field-stains are being translated into visual data the viewer can experience the ways in which I can manipulate, alter, and edit the information. These structures reinforce the complexity and emphasize the characteristics of this disease. The result is visually elegant; flowing and almost passive, the opposite of how cancer is usually perceived and imagined.