Monday, October 15, 2012

On Fighting Cancer I and II

On Fighting Cancer I  (Above)  Stitched words: Mastectomy Over Chemotherapy. On Fighting Cancer II. (Below) Stitched words: Chemo and Radiation over Mastectomy. Both are xylene photo transfers on tea-stained muslin.  Hand embroidery 25" x 19", unframed: 31" x 25", framed.  Click on images to enlarge.


On St. Patrick's Day 2010 Dawn Goldsmith published an amazing blog post on her Subversive Stitchers site about my series and my need for "models". She included my entire "wish list". Within almost no time at all, fiber artists from all over the world responded.... including Gerrie and Jane. In fact, their email messages popped into my "in box" within fifteen minutes of one another.... and that's how I determined which was "I"/one and which was "II"/two.

These two works are inseparable for me. Why? Because these ladies, both fiber artists, faced the same horrible problem. They made two equally good but completely different decisions.  Together, these portraits illustrate the complexities of dealing with breast cancer. There are options. For some, one treatment is better than another; for others, the exact opposite is true.

The Decision Portrait Series isn't about "right" or "wrong". It is about the decisions.... especially the difficult decisions. Personally, I don't know what I would do if confronting breast cancer. I guess I'd listen to my doctors, get second opinions, consult my family, weigh the odds.... just like these brave ladies did. I hope people seeing the work in the upcoming exhibit quietly ask themselves, "What would I do?" and "How can I show support".

Please also visit Gerrie Congdon's excellent website and blog!  ( and Please also visit Jane Compeau’s blog at Their work is GREAT!

1 comment:

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