Anatomy of a Choice

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Anatomy of a Choice, 2018 (installation with audio and found/made images and objects)

 

Anatomy of a Choice builds on autobiographical work about the breast cancer gene mutation I carry and the medical journey I undertook to prevent cancer. Peepholes and lenses reveal images and objects installed in a large hexagonal 'body', including embroidered photographs (created as part of an ongoing project with photographer Maja Daniels); family tree photos; etchings made from a PET scan; HRT therapy patches; a bird's nest. The peepholes provide a glimpse into the patient’s inner world, a space that is easily overlooked as the body is medicalised. Two large screenprints of the BRCA1 gene we all carry hang on the wall – one showing a healthy copy and the other my specific mutation. An audio piece of birdsong fills the air, and a more intimate piece with short clips of my thoughts recorded the week before my breast surgery hangs nearby on the wall.

 

Anatomy of a Choice visualizes the emotional and mental transformation that is taking place alongside the transformation of the physical body. With this work, I hope to bring a viewer into an intimate experience – but to make their own meaning from – and to create an encounter through which we can build empathy for one another’s experiences.