"My previous success with using raw, personal, and tactile resources, once again has enabled me to connect with and process loss and devastation. I decided to use this technique in my portrait, Facing It. This painting is a portrait of my sister, Sally, undergoing treatment for cancer, when she lost her crowning glory 2 months ago. I collected, combed and applied Sally’s hair to the powerful, moving and emotive piece (creating the textured wig, beside her). It shows Sally reflected in the mirror, staring at the viewer. Her gaze is piercing, powerful and direct. As the cancer moves throughout her body, she is facing it, its consequences, symptoms, treatment and side effects. This potentially devastating disease has moved on to affect one in two of us and we are compelled to stop and face this. It is a haunting but beautiful, moving portrait of vibrant colours. Sally’s baldness is juxtaposed with decoration, a colourful scarf, and make up, accentuating her eyes, where her eyebrows and eyelashes once were. Her wig made up of the hair she has lost, now sits to the side of her, framed by a canvas of vibrancy, positivity and abstraction. The wig is there to hide her baldness, hide the cancer, but why? To save causing public discomfort. Baldness on a woman is like writing Cancer on your forehead. It's looking back at you. The clock’s arms are out of view, symbolic of the abstraction of time.
Life throws us all challenges, some greater than others and it is how we respond to and move on from them that matters."
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