Being diagnosed with breast cancer and having a mastectomy is not what one typically describes as “Tickled Pink”. Yet, to get through sorrows and challenges in life one must embrace joy, humor, and color. Having received the startling diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma this March, I immediately began to work in the studio to help process my new reality. The resulting piece is Three Stages Of Grief. Three Stages Of Grief is composed of three individual assemblages: This Is Goodbye, Rest In Peace, and Imposter. This Is Goodbye was my way of accepting the reality of my impending unilateral mastectomy surgery. Saying goodbye to a body part is an odd place to find oneself. Rest In Peace was the macabre thought of what would happen to my left breast once it was removed? Lefty deserved her due respect and proper burial. Imposter represents the prospect of breast reconstruction. The new one, the imposter, might upstage the old remaining girl making her feel a bit low. While the humor and color, albeit dark and absurd, are evident in my grieving process one might ask where is the joy? The joy is in the realization that I am strong and powerful, that I am surrounded by love and support, and that life remains beautiful despite this challenge. I am “Tickled Pink” to know that many brave sisters have faced breast cancer and won.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I am an abstract artist based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I was born in Connecticut but have lived most of my adult life in the South, 16 years in Savannah, Georgia, 13 years in Boone, North Carolina. As with all artists, I need to make for my overall wellbeing; it is a necessity, a compulsion. I did not surrender to it completely until relatively recently at the age of 55. Why now? I can not say for certain but I believe it was the experience of almost losing my partner back in 2017. That abrupt reminder of mortality and transience has made me feel an intensity and urgency in everything. My work reflects this intensity visually in color and tactile dimensionality.
© Cheryl Prisco