Cancer is a scary disease that forces one to confront their own mortality or that of loved ones. And as a result of this fear, most people do not want to discuss or even think about cancer. But what sort of effects does that approach have on someone who is living with the disease?
Deconstruction tells the story of one woman's 25 year journey with metastasized breast cancer by putting on an art show based on her experiences. Joyce Mallonee was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995. She had several more occurrences before receiving a Stage IV diagnosis in 2006. Although the cancer was slow growing, it metastasized to her bones, liver, and lungs. Joyce endured a continuous cycle of medications, treatments and surgeries - all of which took their toll--often in the form of a body part being removed, replaced, or altered.
Joyce, with the help of her son Alex, decided to channel her experiences into an art show. Together the pair have conceptualized and collaborated with seven artists across mediums to create eight pieces of artwork for the exhibition. Each piece tells a part of Joyce’s personal journey and explores themes of denial, vanity, humor, and creativity as essential mechanisms for coping with cancer. She believed her art can empower cancer survivors to tell their stories through creative expression, prompting difficult but crucial conversations with loved ones that help both the survivors and their families deal with the disease.
Deconstruction: An Art Show (About Cancer) will take place from January 20-24th, 2021 closing on what would have been Joyce's 70th birthday. Although she did not live to see the finished exhibition, her son Alex has completed the show on her behalf. Alex has plans to unveil a virtual version of the exhibition (Deconstruction: A Virtual Art Show (About Cancer)) later in 2021 and is filming a companion piece documentary film (Deconstruction: A Film (About Cancer)).
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