When artist Mayu Kanamori was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, one of the first things she did was call her long time friend and artistic collaborator Vic McEwan and ask if he would like to work together to explore Mayu’s diagnoses, treatment and recovery.
This project defines Mayu as an artist rather than a patient, and is intended to be a deep exploration of illness, trauma and identity: with Mayu and Vic working closely with each other, a wider community of artists, scholars from Sydney University’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, the Sydney Medical School, and invited guests: breast cancer specialists, surgeons, oncologists, patients, art therapists, and artists in the field of arts/health.
I Just Can’t Say That Word builds upon the creative relationship developed over 15 years between Mayu and Vic to explore Mayu’s recent personal experiences of being a breast cancer patient. Combining Mayu’s personal experience and artistic practice with Vic’s experience working in hospitals in the United Kingdom in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and his role on the NSW/ACT Arts/Health State Leadership Group, this project explores the power of Arts and Health collaborations to question, highlight, diffuse and share experiences of illness and recovery.
Socially, the project will further breast cancer awareness and highlight the role of art in medicine and healing. Critically, by exploring the nexus between art and medicine, art therapy and arts practice, patient and artist, creator and community, physicality and spirituality, this project takes part in a global discourse on interconnectedness of health, illness, well-being, healing and creativity.
Since July 2016 many artists have volunteered their time and expertise to support this project during Mayu’s two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. During the upcoming creative development period, for reasons of ethics, support of the artist’s practice and in recognition of their time and expertise, we intend to pay artist’s expenses and fees.
The donations received during this ACF campaign will cover travel, accommodation, fees and material costs during our 2-week arts residency at the Rex Cramphorn Studio at the University of Sydney.
We will be donating 5% of the contributions of this ACF campaign to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse’s Arterie program. Arterie is an innovative inter-disciplinary model of art in healthcare practice, specifically designed to improve outcomes for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse patients, families, carers and staff by easing the side effects of cancer and its treatments.
The team who have been involved in this project to date and in the future include:
We foresee that the project will develop into a type of performance installation with sounds and images and we will conclude this development period by holding an industry showing at the end of the 2 weeks for feedback. After this period of creative development, we plan to take this project to the next stage, refining, rehearsing and presenting the completed work to wider audiences.
Thank you for contributing to our wider cause. We look forward to you coming on board and sharing our vision.
For more information, see our I Just Can’t Say That Word Process Blog: https://ijustcantsaythatword.wordpress.com