Visualising Illness

Visualising Illness

Digital Photography, Memory, Love, Family, Death, Mixed technique, 22x42x2cm
In June 2012 my father Peter was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme grade 4, a type of brain tumour, and the most aggressive cancer that begins in the brain. Officially there is no clear way to prevent the disease. Typical treatment involves surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Despite maximum treatment, the cancer usually re-occurs. The most common length of survival following diagnosis is 12 to 15 months. My father has now been alive for 4 and half years, making him part of a small group of people that have outlived all life expectancy predictions, and it is not entirely clear why. As a photographer and journalist, my response to my father's illness has been to document his progress and communicate with other patients, families and carers around the world. My approach involves a mixture of mediums to convey both my and his experiences, including photography, MRI scans, and filmed interviews. I realised, through this project, that the camera became a tool that enabled me to gain control over my anxiety generated by his illness. His story - through his son's eyes is told visually through the series. His illness has massively changed the dynamic of the family, and in many ways ironically has allowed us to re-bond.

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