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 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 easily overlooked when the body becomes medicalised. Two large screenprints of the BRCA1 genes we all carry hang on the wall – one showing a healthy copy and the other my specific mutation. Birdsong fills the air.

Anuradha Vittachi and Peter Armstrong of Hedgerly Wood Trust recorded a conversation with me the week before my mastectomy surgery, and six short interview clips in a more intimate encounter hang on a nearby wall. These excerpts are included above.

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 that they can make their own meaning from, to create an encounter through which we can build empathy for one another’s experiences.