Artistic expression inspired by cancer at UCLA Medical School

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exhibit that focused on back pain. Now there’s a new show in the same venue about artistic inspiration as a result of cancer. Six different points of view are represented and currently on display at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine Learning Resource Center.

Katie Carney, for one, dealt with her breast cancer diagnosis in 2003 by painting. “As I sat in front of the canvas,” she said, “I would furiously pour my feelings out, almost like an emotional vomiting.” From prognosis to final treatment, she produced 13 paintings in a series.

Jeffrey Shagawat had a different creative outlet for dealing with the diagnosis he received two years ago of a brain tumor: from the minute he learned the news, he took out his camera.

There’s this shot on the gurney as he was being wheeled to surgery  (pictured right) and he also collected every artifact along the way– hospital bracelets, prescription bottles.  “Without even realizing it, I was expressing a need for permanence and to make sense of such a devastating reality.”

Shagawat, whose cancer is now in remission, says he wants people who see his art to feel the “chaos, confusion and the ugly business” of cancer.  His experiences and that of others in the show also underscore the strength.

“You Have….Cancer” curated by Ted Meyer.  Through October 15th.