PROJECT: Cancer: A self-portrait Role: Artist Note: Cancer: A self-portrait, is an exploration of the channels through which cancer permeated my life when my husband was diagnosed in the fall of 2012. Struggling to visualize the elusive and ambiguous cancer cells, I created manifestations of the cells in clay: vibrantly colored cups impressed with a carved skull and crossbones suggesting the poison and toxicity held within; muted angular objects suggesting quiet discomfort, sharp edges, and potential pain; and strung molded forms hanging like a chemo drip bag with its targeted poison, a rain chain for tears, or a progression of linear time. I also experimented with iron oxide toner transfers of portraits onto cellular forms—giving faces to the faceless—and finally conglomerate works that more literally look at the impact cancer was having on my life. When his treatment began, I felt wrong making cancer while he worked so hard to destroy it. Cells clogged my studio as they did his blood. In total, I made around 50 forms. As we reached remission, I purged our home by disseminating the clay cells. Knowing it might seem odd to give cancer to those we hold dear, I asked them to consider it not as an omen of disease, but instead as a talisman—to keep them safe and ward off illness. Materials: Clay, glaze, leather cord.