The Artist's Gift

Hollis Sigler is a leading feminist artist that was diagnosed in 1985 with breast cancer. After it recurred, she began making a journal of all of her experiences and struggles. Her "Breast Cancer Journal" has more than 100 works in it. When paging through this book I immediately connected with her work. A lot of the illustrations depict emotions, worries, and concerns that my mom is experiencing right now. This book is a gift to all those whose lives have been touched by this disease. I was also infatuated with her execution process. Her goal was to be spontaneous and to have a sense of "child's joy in drawing." She does no preliminary drawings, and she starts with just writing down her thoughts in her journal. This is where she pulls the concepts for her all of her drawings. Here are several of her pieces. I would love to upload the whole book but here is just a taste. There are tons of great facts and quotes in this journal as well.

"Trying to maintain an air of normalcy"
1992, oil pastel on paper, painted frame

One in three American women will get cancer in her lifetime; nearly 1 in 4 American women will die of cancer. In 1989, one American woman was diagnosed with breast cancer every minute and one American woman died of cancer every 2.2 minutes.

"Some days you feel so alive"
1992, oil pastel on paper, painted frame

"May these words serve as encouragement for other women to speak out and act out of our experiences with cancer and with other threats of death, for silence has never brought us anything of worth. . . .May these words underline the possibilities pf self-healing." -Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals

"The illusion was to think she had any control over her life"

"As far back as 537 B.C. the ancient and respected physician Galan noted that women who were depressed and melancholy were more apt to get breast cancer than cheerful ones. "A Psychological Study of Cancer," it was found that grief (due to a loss) of a significant relationship was the most predisposing cause in cancer."


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Hello. Thanks for stopping by! For questions or to discuss a project e-mail me @ kateworum@gmail


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