How cultural experiences can improve health and wellbeing


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Last Saturday at 06:57 pm

Facing Out: Life after treatment for facial cancer

An exhibition of portraits of people who have experienced facial cancers together with their choice of artworks from the Whitworth collections.

The portraits have been created in public by Lucy Burscough during her residency at Maggie’s Cancer Support Centre at The Christie Hospital. Centre visitors were welcome to chat to Lucy about her work as they watched the paintings develop.

As someone who looks at faces for her job, Burscough is interested in what happens when someone experiences cancer which alters their appearance. If the face changes, how does that affect one’s sense of self? Her subjects speak of being acutely aware of the gaze of others, in the street or at their work, and they recognise that people’s eyes can naturally be drawn to people whose faces are unusual. Becoming the subject of a portrait under these circumstances is an empowering act of defiance and welcoming people to look at one’s face, scars and all, is an invitation to acknowledge a shared humanity and triumph over this indiscriminate illness.

When one takes on the role of ‘patient’ or ‘cancer survivor’, and facets of our identity that we hold dear: jobs, hobbies or social activities, may fade into the background, our sense of who we are can take a knock. The artworks chosen from the Whitworth’s collection by the subjects to be displayed alongside their portraits, have been selected to reflect their wider identities and illustrate cherished aspects of who they are.

A programme of events will coincide with this exhibition, please visit our Facing Out Events page to find out more.
Funded by Arts Council England awarding funds from The National Lottery.

22 February – 2 June 2019
Facing Out: Exhibition opening
Thursday 21 February, 6-9pm.

Join us for a special evening of music, art and making to celebrate the launch of this exhibition.
For more information visit our Thursday Lates page.

Image: Lucy Burscough, Graeme, 2017. Copyright the artist.