When we began this project one year ago, I hoped with all my heart that we would be able to create a project with universal resonance. I knew it was a challenge.
Breast cancer is a disease that is both individual and universal. It hurts as as woman, and it hurts us as women. It changes the lives of men and children, mothers and sisters. It is everywhere. It is a secret.
My collaborator, the photographic genius that is Elli Rader, spent countless hours discussing with me what cancer means. We’ve talked about why it affects us all, and how it affects us each. We knew that exploring breast cancer was a task for which we were under-qualified. We decided to try it anyway. Because of our models and our readers, we learn more and more every day about survival. We strive to capture what that means in art. We hope we do it justice.
Yesterday, we got the news that a photograph born of this project has been selected for display in an incredible project. Woman as Photographer, as explored by the Minneapolis Photo Center in cooperation with some of the most amazing women in the Twin Cities’ art scene, has selected a photograph of Elli’s for display in an upcoming exhibit that seeks to explore the artistry of women who speak to women.
I am so proud of Elli for her fearlessness as she explores the artist within herself. I am even more proud of Elli for the artistry she unlocks in her subjects, and for the truths that she shares with those who see her work.
I’m proud to be her friend, to be her partner in this project, and to collaborate with her as we seek to share your stories. Thanks to all of you who have helped Of Scars to reach an ever-broader audience. We can’t thank you enough for helping us to find and to share the beauty of survival. Your stories are what makes this project resonate with survivors and those who love them.
I’m proud of you, too.